Flying Colors: A Guide to Flags from Around the World by Robin Jacobs, illustrated by Robert Fresson

    Flying Colors: A Guide to Flags from Around the World by Robin Jacobs, illustrated by Robert Fresson, Cicada Books Limited 2018, 9781908714466

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book?  The design is bold and appealing. The text starts out explaining different aspects of the flag and giving necessary and pertinent vocabulary including “vexillology” which is the study of flags. Each country gets a page or two-page spread that goes through the origin and history of its flag. Through this colorful volume, readers get both a short history of important dates for countries around the world and an understanding of flag meaning, function, and power. Fascinating new facts can be learned on each page and the focus is on interesting flags from all over the world, even if they are from the tiniest of islands.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  The organization of the book is confusing since the flags are divided into sections according to their styling and not by parts of the world. There are maps in the back, but it would have been helpful to have the name of the countries color coded to the continent they are on. Instead, the colors are randomly assigned. This reduces the value of the book in terms of geography. There is a table of contents that lists each country so they can be located individually.  

To whom would you recommend this book?  Anyone who likes flags, but also anyone who loves history or a fun nonfiction book.

Who should buy this book? This would be great for public libraries and both middle and high school libraries, especially if there are projects involving countries or flags.

Where would you shelve it? In the nonfiction or informational text area.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? This is more of a book which dipped in and out of instead sitting down to read straight through. If you have an interest in flags this is one of the more interesting ones I have seen!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Clare Dombrowski, Amesbury, MA

Date of review: 2/8/18


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