Friday, May 23, 2014

Discover America: From Sea to Shining Sea by Julie Olsen, Lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates

Size: 8½ x 11
Pages: 32
Publisher: Shadow Mountain 2014

More than a book. It's an online experience!

Follow the patriotic journey of a little red balloon as it makes its way from the West Coast to the East Coast of the United States.

Through delightful illustrations and the words of "America the Beautiful," one of America's most beloved anthems, children will discover the beauty and diversity of their country. At they can launch their own balloon while learning fun facts about all fifty states.

I love children's books.  I really miss the days when my kids were little and I could read books to them.  This would have been one I would have read to them over and over.  Well, actually I would sing this book to them.  One of my favorite kinds of children's books are the ones where songs are put to book form with pictures.  My kids loved those kinds of books too.  As stated in the above blurb, this book is set to the words of "America the Beautiful" (one of my favorite patriotic songs).  I love our country.  It is so beautiful and diverse and interesting.

In this book we follow a little red balloon as it journeys through some of America's beautiful places.  In the back is a map showing you where the balloon was in each picture so you  know for sure.  Then on the very last page is instructions on how to launch your own balloon online.  You can send the balloon to someone you know and they can send it on to someone they know.  The site will track your balloon so you know all the places across the country it visits.  How fun is that?!  Also on the website is a map where you can learn facts about each state in our country and print off coloring pages corresponding with each state.  It's like a geography lesson without even seeming like it.

If my kids were little, this is something I would be doing with them this summer.  This is such a fun idea and I love it.  Love it.

The illustrations are so pretty and interesting to look at.  I especially love the dedication in the front that reads:

"For all the men and women who have proudly served our country.  May God shed His grace on thee."

Love that.  

You can purchase this book at Deseret Book and Amazon.

About the Authors

Julie Olson was born in the East, grew up in the Midwest, and now lives in the West. She developed a deep love for all parts of America as she lived in and traveled through various places. Since graduating with a BFA degree in illustration from Brigham Young University, she strives through her work to uplift and encourage others to be better.

You can learn more about Julie and her other creations by visiting

Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929) taught English at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Her most famous poem, “America the Beautiful,” was inspired by the view from Pike’s Peak, near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Published in 1893, it became the lyrics to the well-known anthem shortly thereafter.

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