In this colorful picture book, a mother and son attend a Memorial Day Parade. Mama promises Marco that there will be a “very big surprise,” creating a tone of anticipation. The excitement builds as they join the others lined up along the avenue. Could the surprise be the fire engines? The candy tossed to the crowd? The marching band? Marco never imagined the kind of surprise in store for him.
"The paintings are filled with energy as American flags are waved, children ride bicycles with red and blue handlebar tassels, and balloons float through the air. This book depicts people from different ethnic backgrounds coming together to honor our American veterans. Marco's experience and his feelings of pride about his grandfather add a personal touch to understanding the holiday, and will launch discussions about relatives who have served their country in various ways." -School Library Journal "This is a book that brings the meaning of Memorial Day to a level that kids can understand without getting into the issues relating to wars and their causes." -Children's Literature I went to a Memorial Day parade in Yardley, Pennsylvania many years ago when my children were small. My sister-in-law and her four children were also with us at the parade. The children were so excited by the fire engines, the candy, and the marching band. Later that night, I spent a few minutes writing in my journal a description of all that had happened at the parade. Several years later I came across that journal entry and decided to turn it into a picture book. Memorial Day is a hard holiday for children to understand. I wanted this book to be a gentle introduction to Memorial Day, filled with all the sights, sounds, and excitement of a parade, but also illustrating the special people who are at the heart of the holiday. I had at first called this book Memory Day Surprise. Marco doesn't know what the word memorial means and he gets it mixed up with the word memory. As his mother tells him, though, Memory Day is also a good name for the holiday because Memorial Day is a time to remember some very special people. I dedicated this book to all the men and women who have served their country, but especially to my father- and mother-in-law, Joe and Mary Golding. They both fought in World War II and earned many distinctions. They got married in France during the war. Memorial Day Surprise can be purchased from Your Local Bookstore or ordered on line. Click on any of the links below.