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A Primer About the Flag    by Marvin Bell & Chris Raschka order for
Primer About the Flag
by Marvin Bell
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2011 (2011)
*   Reviewed by Bob Walch

What at first glance seems to be a picture book about flags, how they are used and what they can mean, turns out to be a rather odd book that features a poem about some of the more esoteric uses of flags.

First there are a few lines about Bed & Breakfast flags followed by ship's flags, state fair flags, and enemy flags. 'There are flags on the moon, flags in cemeteries, costume flags. There are little flags that come from the barrel of a gun and say, 'Bang.' If you want to have a parade, you usually have to have a flag for people to line up behind.'

Although they feature bright color with designs, the flags that accompany the text don't make a lot of sense. They are eye-catching but do not relate to any recognizable flags.

I have to admit that I don't find this poem to be that amusing, nor do I see the point of the black and white cartoon characters brandishing swatches of color that are supposed to be whimsical flags.

If you are looking for a real primer about flags, ignore this book. Not only is the title deceptive, but the contents are probably not what you are expecting in a book of this nature.

I guess the book could be used to inspire a child to create his or her own whimsical flag, but I don't think you need to spend $15.99 to illustrate how a project of this nature might be accomplished!

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