Friday, September 15, 2017

PPBF: Blue Sky White Stars

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Blue Sky White Stars, by Sarvinder Naberhaus and Kadir Nelson
Blue Sky White Stars

Written by Sarvinder Naberhaus
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017, Ages 4-8
68 words, 40 pp.

America, Flag, Diversity, History

Blue sky
White stars

In spare, poetic language, author Sarvinder Naberhaus compares the colors of the American flag to the history of the nation, highlighting the similarities and differences of the land, its people, its past, and its future.

What I Love:
This beautiful depiction of our diverse heritage is an open door for adults to discuss a multitude of issues with the kids in their lives. Facing pages use the same text, or occasionally a play on words, to equate the symbols of the flag with touchpoints in our history. These key moments define us as Americans and give readers a big-picture of the diversity which binds us together. At times as stirring as the National Anthem, this book weaves a word picture. It hints at struggle through images of  covered wagons, veterans, protesters, graduates. It spotlights our blessings with pictures of fireworks, natural wonders, past times, and space exploration. Both author and illustrator have included back matter and poured their patriotism into every page. This is a book which needs to be experienced to be understood. Breathtaking.

1. I love the website Sarvinder set up which is specifically dedicated to Blue Sky White Stars. It has additional behind-the-scenes  information and plenty of resources for teachers and students.

J. Dowling submitted red, white, and blue cookies to Better Recipies
2. Uma Krishnaswami (one of my FAVORITE authors!) posted an interview with the author in which she asks questions picture book authors want to know.

3. Sarvinder's newest book, Lines, came out August 22!

4. Fellow PPBF blogger Maria Marshall previously reviewed this book, complete with multiple interior images and an author interview. Patricia Tilton reviewed it for Independence Day, but Blue Sky White Stars is so moving, I thought it deserved a spotlight for Patriot Day. If you haven't read it to the book store today!

5. There are hundred of resources you could use with this book. It can open discussions about history, citizenship, civil rights, heritage, or even poetry. Here are a few links to get you started.
  • PBS consolidated key points in the history of the American flag. Military1 lists 11 protocols to respecting your nation's flag. Why don't they teach these in school anymore?
  • History Bits compiled a guide to the western migration in America.
  • Today's Christian Woman has an article on teaching kids to be good citizens and Bible in A Year studies three Biblical passages which deal with citizenship.*
  • The Library of Congress has posted a teachers' guide to challenges immigrant Americans face.
  • Explore America's national parks on the National Geographic site.
  • History for Kids focuses on civil rights and provides links to many leaders in the search for equality.
  • Learn more about the exploration of the moon on NASA's educator's page.

6. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Patricia
Reviewed by Wendy

Reviewed by Vivian
Reviewed by Leslie

Reviewed by Joanna
Reviewed by Joanne

Reviewed by Pat
Reviewed by Julie

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, September 15, 2017 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

*I do not necessarily endorse the ministry listed, but recommend the content of the link provided.


  1. What a comprehensive post about this great book. I love all the links and resources you have added.

  2. I love the cover of this book! And I appreciate that it invites discussion of our country's history in terms of both its wonders and its struggles, collective and individual. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I came across this marvelous book earlier this year, and after reading your review, I'm inspired to check out this book and enjoy it again. Thank you.

  4. I love this book. I enjoyed your extras and resources to accompany this book.

  5. I loved your review of this beautiful book. You really did it justice. I believe it is a book that can be used all year long. Thanks for the mention.


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