In author/illustrator Alexandra Wallner”s charming account of the life and work of Betsy Ross, readers encounter one of the few women who are famous in early American history. Wallner starts by describing Ross”s life as a Quaker child who loves to sew. Everyday, Ross helps her parents and 16 siblings by sewing the white caps worn by the Quaker girls. Ross attends the Quaker School and uses some of her time there to sew quilts and samplers with complicated designs. She wins many prizes for her needlework. As a teenager, Ross works outside the home in an upholstery shop and marries the first of her three husbands (each of whom dies before her).
During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington pays a visit to Ross because he wants a flag for the Colonial army. Ross improves on his design, and she is subsequently hired to sew the flag. In a nice touch, Wallner presents Ross as a successful businesswoman, as well as an excellent seamstress. Wallner”s large and colorful illustrations are full of period details that can prompt discussions about daily life in Colonial times. In an author”s note at the end of the book, Wallner reports that although there are conflicting accounts of Ross”s life, she has favored a particular source of information. After reading, children will enjoy using Wallner”s illustrated description of how to make their own five-pointed star as quickly as Ross made one for General George Washington on his first visit to her.
Autobiography and Biography,
Biography and Autobiography,