I Pledge Allegiance by Pat Mora and Libby Martinez, illustrated by Patrice Barton is the best choice for a new picture book on Memorial Day. This post is dedicated to my dear friend Paw Paw Lay and her family, who are all recent new citizens. I am very proud of her and her family. It's not easy coming to a new country to start over. She told me about their first day in the United States, they had flown into Chicago on May 8th. That's my birthday, and we talked about how we share a birthday since it was her anniversary in her new country. They had to stay overnight before their plane to Fort Wayne and although they were hungry, they were too scared to go out and get food. She and her family are Burmese, but they all lived in Thailand until they came to America. They've been here six years.
So onto this wonderful new book. I Pledge Allegiance is about Libby's great-aunt who is 80 years-old passing the test to be a citizen and then taking that first oath of allegiance. This book made me tear up. For the last 8 years or so I've been meeting a lot of new friends from a part of the world I had barely even heard of.
This book goes through the process for this family that comes from Mexico and the great-aunt that wants to be a citizen. It's a heart-warming story and one that many of the children in my area can identify with. It's based on the authors' real aunt Lobo.
The illustrations for this book were created using pencil sketches painted digitally. I like how the artist was able to create textures so well in the art. The textures of the plants, clothing, hair and the streaks on the glasses are very well done. It's based on a true story, but the art gives it a light and airy feel as if it's based on a legend or fairy tale. There is a terrific teacher literature guide, here. And learn more about Aunt Lobo, here.