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Also by compiled, written, or illustrated by Cooper Edens:

Classic Western Stories: The Most Beloved Stories

Sea Stories: A Classic Illustrated Edition

The Night Before Christmas: A Classic Illustrated Edition
The Glorious American Songbook
by Cooper Edens
ages 4-8 77 pages Chronicle Books May 2005 Hardcover    

The title of this book, The Glorious American Songbook, just about sums it up. This is a “glorious” book containing such old favorites as I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, Polly Wolly Doodle and Skip To My Lou, alongside the patriotic God Bless America, You’re a Grand Old Flag and America. There are 23 songs ranging from the colonial era – Yankee Doodle and The Star Spangled Banner – through the mid-twentieth century – Happy Trails (1951). One to two pages are devoted to each song with accompanying melodies and era appropriate artwork by some of America’s great artists including Frederic Remington, Winslow Homer and Norman Rockwell. The beautifully laid-out illustrations range from impressionistic paintings to art-deco style prints.

The book is a tribute to America, reminiscent of simpler, happy times. Unfortunately, only a few songs are transcribed in their entirety, many show only a few select stanzas. Similarly, one to three bars of music are included with each song. This book is meant to be a sampler of American music, not a complete collection.

This would be a lovely book for parents and grandparents to share with younger family members. As the compiler of the book Cooper Edens writes in the preface, “The songs in this book paint a portrait of the people who made America great." The format of the book, in hardcover with thick paper and incredible artwork makes this the perfect coffee table book.

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  Barb Taylor, B.Ed./2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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