cover image Barbara Frietchie

Barbara Frietchie

John Greenleaf Whittier. Greenwillow Books, $13.93 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09829-2

Generations of American children have recited Whittier's familiar couplet: ``Shoot if you must this old gray head, / But spare your country's flag, she said.'' Just as she did for Paul Revere's Ride , Parker has revitalized this story of an old woman who defied Confederate troops by displaying the Union flag. Signature tidy line drawings brightened with color wash reflect both a keen appreciation of the subject and considered attention to kid-pleasing detail. Families who visit Antietam and other Civil War battlefields or watch the PBS Civil War series will particularly enjoy the endpaper illustrations of Civil War flags, the concise and informative description of the setting,stet comma and engaging brief biographies of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson and poet Whittier. Readers will also appreciate the helpful definitions of terms like ``famished hoard'' used in the poem. Ages 6-up. (Mar.)