All Fun articles: In April - Help the Earth Every Day
Holidays - April Fool's, Passover, Earth Day
Kids Jr. - Booklists for kids under 5
Websites for Kids - Handpicked games
On July 4th, burgers sizzle on the grill, and cold drinks are passed around. Happy dogs play with frisbees, and sunburned kids finally climb out of the pool. In the growing darkness, fireworks begin to crackle and zoom overhead. At last a special song starts playing, and all the people get quiet as they remember the reason for the celebration.
When the American colonists declared independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, they were doing a very brave thing. They knew that there would be no easy way to make the words they put on paper real. The Continental Army would have to fight for the country's right to exist.
People made up new songs, often using old tunes, and sung them in the streets of America. These were full of pride and jokes about the British. There were lots of them! Some, like Yankee Doodle, are classics we still remember, and many songs told the war news, such as An American Frigate,* that tells the tale of one of John Paul Jones' battles on the sea.
Gone are the libraries with librarians shushing children for the slightest noise. Now we have libraries that encourage play and having fun, all while getting children ready to read.
Home is a visual exploration of the many dwellings in our world. Each illustration shows the sheer variety of places where we live. Some people make their homes in the country, while others might live in apartments.
The book is not limited to people or even planet Earth. We see beehives, moon colonies, and the old woman who lived in a shoe. Many of the homes we visit are depicted as intricate, double-page spreads, giving the reader much to discover.
Where Are the Great Plains?
The Great Plains are the part of North America east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the Mississippi River. The American states that are part of this region are Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. The land there is flat and includes prairie, steppe and grassland.
Who Are the Plains Indians?
There were many differently-named tribes who lived on the Great Plains when the Europeans came, but they mostly shared a common culture because of living in similar environments. The buffalo (bison) was a major source of food along with other game and cultivated crops. They also gathered wild fruits and vegetables. Nomadic (roaming) tribes lived in large teepees, often painted with religious symbols. Tribes that did not roam often lived in earthen or grass lodges and would grow crops.