An American flag blowing in the breeze, an apple pie cooling on the windowsill and July fireworks lighting up the night sky. These images all scream summertime, as does the cover of the new interactive journal, Diary of an American Kid, released by Sleeping Bear Press with artwork by Cyd Moore.
This is just the type of activity book that I adored as a child, with spaces for creative writing and drawing. Some prompts are completely open-ended– a two page spread with a red, white and blue border, a space to write the date and a one word directive: “Draw!” Others, though, are more specific. For example, in one section, information is provided about different fruits that are grown across the country, and questions are posed about the child’s favorite fruits and fruity muffins.
There is a nice mix of general questions for children to fill in, such as the names of their best friends and favorites (tv show, movie, video game, book, art projects), along with some more USA-centric sections, too. Tidbits of information about American geography accompany a section for children to write about any camping trips they’ve taken. Another page talks about Chicago- vs. New York-style pizzas, and then directions are given for making homemade pizza! If your child is more comfortable at the art table than in the kitchen, the “patriotic wind sock” project might be just the thing for him or her.
This soft-cover “diary” encourages creativity, provides information about the U.S. in a kid-friendly manner, and gives children the opportunity to record any sort of thought and drawing on the open pages. After reading the interesting facts about our nation, the final page of the diary poses what I think is the best question of the whole book: “What makes YOU an American kid?” I’m personally hoping that my own son will share his ideas on that question with me!
Diary of an American Kid makes for a perfect summer gift for an elementary school aged American kid of your own. A fun way to keep children active, thinking, writing and drawing during those long days out of school, with the added bonus of mini-history and geography lessons snuck in, too!
American kid Dawn, is raising three American kids of her in own in the Maryland suburbs, where reading is always a summer fun activity. She blogs at my thoughts exactly.