Libby's great aunt, Lobo, is from Mexico, but the United States has been her home for many years, and she wants to become a U.S. citizen. At the end of the week, Lobo will say the Pledge of Allegiance at a special ceremony. Libby is also learning the Pledge this week, at school—at the end of the week, she will stand up in front of everyone and lead the class in the Pledge. Libby and Lobo practice together—asking questions and sharing stories and memories—until they both stand tall and proud, with their hands over their hearts.
Drawing from family history, Mora (The Beautiful Lady) and her daughter Martinez tell the story of a girl named Libby, whose 80-year-old Mexican-born great-aunt, Lobo, becomes a U.S. citizen. Libby proudly announces to her class that Lobo passed her citizenship test and will soon recite the Pledge of Allegiance at her swearing-in ceremony. Since Libby's class is also learning the pledge, her teacher offers a bit of background information, noting that its author, Francis Bellamy, "hoped that girls and boys would promise to be good citizens." Libby and Lolo practice the pledge together, and Lolo offers a poetic response to Libby's question about why she wants to become a citizen; after she arrived in the U.S. as a child, "the American flag red, white, and blue wrapped itself around me to protect me." Barton's (The Invisible Boy) digitally painted pencil sketches have a soft, smudgy quality with a pink-and-pale-blue palette that echoes the colors of the American flag. Spanish words appear occasionally, in keeping with the melting-pot theme, and Barton's art easily conveys Libby and Lobo's loving rapport. Ages 3 7.