This children’s picture book about one of America’s greatest songwriters – who wasn’t actually born in the United States of America – is an absolutely marvelous biographical tribute. Author Nancy Churnin somehow manages to tell the entire Irving Berlin life story in thirty-two gorgeously illustrated pages, hitting the highlights, catching the struggles and the passions of the young man who gave us songs such as “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” “Easter Parade” “White Christmas” and “God Bless America.”
Although I had heard it before, I had forgotten that Irving Berlin never took any money, personally, for “God Bless America” but instead donated the proceeds to Girl and Boy Scouts.
Churnin captures the spirit of the American Dream – that America is a land of infinite possibilities and that you can do or be anything or anyone if you want it badly enough and work for it. Who would have guessed that a Russian immigrant child would become one of America’s greatest song-writers?
James Rey Sanchez is the artist for the book and his work is a tremendous complement to the book. The art reminds me of the stylistic animation from the United Productions of America and Warner Brothers studios of the 1950’s. It is very eye-catching and children will have a lot to look at and not be bored while parents read the book out loud.
Looking for a good book? Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing by Nancy Churnin and James Rey Sanchez is an all-around wonderful book and should be in every library in the country and on as many family bookshelves as possible.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing
author: Nancy Churnin
artist: James Rey Sanchez
publisher: Creston Books
hardcover, 32 pages