Americanly Review and Shooting Star Garland


Patriotic Picture Book and Paper Craft

I was thrilled when Melanie Hope Greenberg asked me to review the new picture book she illustrated for Kane Miller Publishing!

AMERICANLY, written by Lynn Parrish Sutton, is a celebration of America and all the wonderful things it had to offer. It is also a celebration of adverbs as each American feature is described with a rich and endearing adverb. I had to admit I was intrigued by this concept book as I have read articles about how writers should avoid adverbs and I like anything that challenges so called rules when it comes to creative pursuits! I love the message of this book and find it is just the thing to read as we near the end of an election cycle that has many people feeling down. I also like that this book is constructed with heavy duty pages so it will stand up to many readings as it works well as an intro to our amazing country for the very young. I also feel that it works for older kids too. My kids, eight and eleven, both enjoyed this book and it served a fun reminder of places we have been (it mentions our home, Cape Cod!) and as a conversation starter for places and things we would like to visit and learn about. Also I am drawn to Melanie’s illustrations because I find them to be so authentic and approachable for children. They just make me happy and are a perfect fit for this book!


Click on this image to read an interview with Melanie Hope Greenberg and see how she created this illustration for AMERICANLY!

In the same way I love the song THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND, I love this book! I love it Americaly and I hope you will too!

Also check out Melanie’s fun coloring pages at What Do Well Day which, by the way, is one of my favorite blogs with fantastic book and game reviews and fun rainy day activities!

Shooting Star Garland

If after reading this book you are feeling especially patriotic, why not try making some red, white, and blue shooting stars! They would be great to put up on election day. They would also be fitting for the Fourth of July!



  1. Cut a bunch of red, white, and blue strips of construction paper at 1.5 inches by 9 inches & 3 inches by 9 inches.
  2. To make one shooting star fold one of the 3 X 9’s in half lengthwise.
  3. Unfold the strip and fold it in half in the other direction.
  4. Now fold it in thirds or twice at 1.5 inches although you can just estimate.
  5. Now cut the star points together as a stack as shown in the instructional image.
  6. Next create a loop by overlapping two of the points and staple together with one 1.5 X 9 inch strip for a tail
  7. Lastly curl the tail by rolling it and fold down the star points.

You can decorate with single stars or alternate the direction you staple the tails and staple several stars together to create a garland (3 inch spacing works nicely).

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I have discovered some great picture books thanks to the recommendations of my fellow Picture Book of the Day bloggers. Follow me on Instagram and search the hashtag #picturebookoftheday for more great picks!


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


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