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Liberty! Hardcover – April 3, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pen-and-wash illustrations so lively they seem to dance on the page animate a story of the 1886 dedication of the Statue of Liberty. The narrator is the nameless boy given the job of signaling (with a wave of a handkerchief) to Bartholdi to drop his statue's veil and reveal her face to the world for the first time. Drummond (Casey Jones) conveys the mounting excitement of the event itself while presenting a cavalcade of characters and incidents: suffragettes protesting ("How long must we wait for liberty?" they shout), immigrants arriving in the harbor, the construction of the statue in France and its assemblage in New York. After the dedication (breezily imagined as being catalyzed by a sneeze from a French engineer's daughter), Drummond's text and visuals turn to a brief reverie on the meanings and gifts of freedom. "I am free and you are free," he writes, as his hero savors various manifestations of American liberty, "to say what we want and to believe what we want Freedom is like a flame we must all hold high and give to others and keep burning bright all around the world." Buoyed by an effortless visual fluidity and an earnest love of country, this is a civics lesson with staying power. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-On October 28, 1886, the sculptor Fr‚d‚ric Auguste Bartholdi unveiled his magnificent statue "Liberty Enlightening the World." Legend has it that a boy was supposed to signal Bartholdi, but for some unknown reason, the signal was lost and the rope was pulled prematurely. Drummond uses this snippet of history as the framework for his recounting of this exciting day. Through the eyes of this boy, readers see it all: the pouring rain; the boats full of suffragettes protesting a female Statue of Liberty when they themselves were not allowed to vote; the sea of red, white, and blue flags, both French and American. Drummond is meticulous regarding historical details, right down to the correct name (Magnolia) for the paddle-wheeling ferryboat that took the most esteemed visitors to the island. The bright and busy watercolor illustrations dance with energy and effectively capture both period and mood. At the end of the tale, the author becomes a bit preachy ("We are free-and we must help others to be free-") but this is a minor distraction in an otherwise nicely done book. Paired with Betsy and Giulio Maestro's The Story of the Statue of Liberty (Lothrop, 1986), Liberty! serves as an excellent introduction to one of our national treasures and the spirit it embodies.
Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (April 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374343853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374343859
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,229,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on August 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Imagine this...New York City, October 28, 1886... A small boy stands at the foot of an enormous statue, his heart bursting with excitement, for today he has been given the most important job in the world..." Based on true events, and seen through the eyes of a little boy, Allan Drummond details the momentous day the Statue of Liberty was unveiled in New York Harbor. As the rained poured down, the harbor was teaming with ships and boats, filled with thousands of cheering people, flying French and American flags. Everyone was there, Mr Bartholdi, the sculptor, the many workers who helped build the statue in France, and erect it here in America, the sailors who brought her over from France, the press, businessmen, dignitaries, and even the President of the United States, all waiting for the signal that would reveal Lady Liberty's beautiful face for the first time..... Mr Drummond's simple text is engaging, entertaining, and full of energy, as the excitement of that day builds with each page turn. His marvelous bright and busy illustrations, in shades of red, white, and blue, dazzle as they swirl around the pages, creating a joyous feast for the eyes. Perfect for youngsters 5-9, Liberty is an evocative masterpiece, best read aloud and shared, that leaves behind a gentle and unforgettable message. "Freedom is like a flame we must all hold high and give to others and keep burning bright all around the world."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Written and illustrated by Allan Drummond, Liberty! is an enthusiastic, full-color picturebook for young readers about the Statue of Liberty, which France gave to the United States in 1886. Telling its story through the eyes of a young boy, Liberty! follows the great statue's steamship voyage with imaginative pen-and-wash artwork and enthusiasm for the treasure that is Liberty. Highly recommended for both school and community library picturebook collections.
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Format: Hardcover
Allan Drummond brings to life the factual events of how Lady Liberty came to America, all through the eyes of a small boy. Drummond leads the reader through events leading up to and including the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty. The anticipation and enthusiasm for the coming of the Statue of Liberty that is felt in the people of New York and France is wonderfully shown in Drummond's writing. His delightful illustrations use wonderful colors to help portray this story of America's ideals of Liberty and Freedom.
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