I wrote In 1776 in 1992. Here's how I started: "In seventeen hundred and seventy-five, da da da da da da." Eventually, I replaced the "da's" with "A long, long time ago," which worked perfectly. Fitting words to rhythm and rhyme is fun. I learned through experience not to stretch words and not to jam them in. I like the puzzle. I like getting the right words to fit just right.
To write In 1776 I also read a lot about the United States at that time and eventually boiled it down to what I thought was appropriate for ages 4-8.
I love Steve Björkman's detailed illustrations. He also illustrated In 1492 about Christopher Columbus. I'm glad Scholastic has added In 1776 to the Scholastic Bookshelf line.
© Steve Björkman
"In 1776 deserves a place on most library shelves."
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"....a blend of lively rhyme enhanced by Bjorkman's colorful illustrations.”
“....stirring introduction by Barry O'Connell, professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College in Massachusetts.”
SUNDAY HERALD (Monterey, CA)
"....just enough to introduce children to the history behind our Fourth of July celebrations."