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Lady Liberty : a biography

by Doreen Rappaport


Syndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9780763625306]

Book Review

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Publishers Weekly :

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Tracing the Statue of Liberty's path to completion, Rappaport (Nobody Gonna to Turn Me 'Round) lets those responsible for its creation tell the story of the project that spanned 20 years and two continents. Based on primary sources, their often lyrical, present-tense musings surge with the emotions behind the American symbol. I listen to the people talk as they watch/ her skin being riveted onto her skeleton./ She inspires them. She inspires me, structural engineer Gustave Eiffel declares. Jumping from one historical figure to the next (for example, from Eiffel to poet Emma Lazarus) is both energizing and discomfiting, as readers must settle into a new voice with each spread. Tavares's (Iron Hans) realistic illustrations are at their best in the sweeping, angled perspectives of the construction and easily justify the book's large trim size. The full-bleed spreads culminate in a vertical gatefold of the copper icon sans weathered patina, instantly whisking readers to the triumphant moment of Liberty's unveiling in 1886. Ages 5–9. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Syndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9780763625306]

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School Library Journal :

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Starred Review. Gr 3–8—This handsome, thoroughly researched picture book tells the story of the statue from conception to dedication from the points of view of the many different players in Liberty's dramatic life. Beginning with the author imagining how her Latvian grandfather felt when he first spied "her," the presentation ends with several quotes from other European immigrants, describing their thoughts as "The Lady" welcomed them to America. The book's unique structure enables Rappaport to pack a wealth of background and detail into the text in an interesting, engaging way. Each spread features a one-and-a-half-page illustration, rendered in watercolor, ink, and pencil, accompanied by a framed narrative poem. Children meet Édouard de Laboulaye, the French law professor who conceived of the statue, and sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, with whom he collaborated. Assistant Marie Simon outlines the intensive mathematical process of turning the original four-foot clay model into the copper "Colossus" she would become. Other voices include Charles P. Stone, a construction supervisor on Bedloe's Island, and Joseph Pulitzer, whose moving editorials inspired 100,000 Americans to donate money when Congress and the Mayor of New York would not. Tavares's evocative paintings bring each perspective to life, from images of an immigrant's outstretched arms to the countless workers measuring, building, and digging. A beautiful, innovative volume.—Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Syndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 0763625302]

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BookList :

From BookList, April 15, 2008, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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*Starred Review* The noble face of the Statue of Liberty graces this "biography," which presents the story of its conception and construction in France, the efforts to raise funds on both sides of the Atlantic, preparations for her arrival in New York, and the celebration culminating in her unveiling in 1886. Rappaport tells the story in a series of free-verse poems representing the reflections of individuals, from Bartholdi, who designed the statue, to Lazarus, who wrote the words on her base, to Pulitzer, who raised significant funds in America, to Florence de Foreest, a little girl who donated her roosters to be sold for the cause, to Rappaport herself, who imagines her immigrant grandfather's first sight of Liberty. The first-person narratives effectively convey the personal significance the statue has had for many people. Large in scale and monumental in effect, the watercolor, ink, and pencil illustrations, including a dramatic vertical foldout page showing Lady Liberty at her unveiling, offer often beautiful views of her many-faceted story. A source bibliography and a recommended reading list are appended. With its intimate narratives and handsome artwork, this large-format book offers a unique portrayal of an iconic statue. Phelan, Carolyn.

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