STARRED REVIEW
June 18, 2019

My Fourth of July

By Jerry Spinelli, illustrated by Larry Day

Newbery Medal winner Jerry Spinelli presents an all-American Fourth of July from the viewpoint of a young boy who’s so excited that he runs out to join the parade in his pajamas.

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Newbery Medal winner Jerry Spinelli presents an all-American Fourth of July from the viewpoint of a young boy who’s so excited that he runs out to join the parade in his pajamas. Golden Kite Award-winning illustrator Larry Day brings Spinelli’s evocative story to life with his buoyant drawings, splashed with flag-waving red, white and blue.

In this nostalgic story, readers will taste the smoky hot dogs, quake at the earth-shaking boom of the first firework, smell the burnt-toast odor in the night air and finally fall asleep to the creak of a red wagon as a father carries the tired spectator home. It’s been quite a day.

If you were lucky enough to have an Independence Day celebration like the one Spinelli describes, you’ll never forget it. And if you haven’t had an equally memorable Fourth of July, it’s not too late to create your own version. Put on an apron, bake a cherry crumble pie, stuff some deviled eggs, grab your family and head to the park for games, a picnic and the coup de resistance—the fireworks.

Spinelli charms us with his child’s-eye view of the Fourth, and Day’s colorful, panoramic illustrations add a necessary punch of brilliance. Kudos to this author-illustrator team for creating a sweet and fun-filled (if somewhat sentimental) depiction of a uniquely American holiday.

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My Fourth of July

My Fourth of July

By Jerry Spinelli, illustrated by Larry Day
Neal Porter
ISBN 9780823442881

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