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The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere Hardcover – October 1, 2001

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The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere + Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888 (Caldecott Honor Book)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bing (Casey at the Bat) once again brings his love of history and attention to detail to bear in Longfellow's classic poem. Even before the famous opening lines ("Listen, my children, and you shall hear/ Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere"), he is busily setting the stage with period window dressing, including faux marbled endpapers cluttered with what looks like original documents (letters that open with an authentic-looking wax seal, newspaper accounts, etc.) plus a variety of found objects, from antique spectacles to a quill pen, seamlessly integrated with the aid of 21st-century technology. He presents the text itself on pages that appear yellowed with age. Pen-and-ink drawings on scratchboard, resembling period engravings, are washed with color cool midnight blues warmed by the glow of candlelight and brightened by the silvery light of the moon. Bing employs the poem's inherent drama. The stanza beginning "Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street,/ Wanders and watches, with eager ears," for instance, finds the lamplighter flattened against the corner of a house as he spies on the British grenadiers. If a few of the spreads are difficult to distinguish (e.g., "The shadowy something far away,/ Where the river widens to meet the bay" that triggers the lamplighter's signal cannot be deciphered, for instance, and it is hard to tell that there's a "second lamp in the belfry"), aspiring historians will overlook them in favor of the cornucopia of relevant facts incorporated into the endpapers including Revere's original deposition to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. For more sophisticated youngsters, Bing's impressive volume helps tell the tale of what happened that April night in 1775. Ages 7-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Gr 3 Up-Longfellow's most famous tale comes to life once again in Bing's masterfully detailed scratchboard paintings that, through their watercolor glazes, give the appearance of fine old engravings. The digitally produced, superimposed images of playing cards, Colonial money, and various other historical objects enhance the tactile sense of the meticulous renderings. Each half-page piece of text appears on a facsimile of parchment set in Founder's Caslon 30 font, the same typeface used in the first printing of the Declaration of Independence, and the accompanying illustrations, maps, and re-creations of documents clearly reinforce the poet's words. The scratchboards are rich in texture and their many shadows suggest the moods of conspiracy and secrecy that must have permeated those days prior to the battles of Lexington and Concord. One that is particularly poignant is that of Revere hurrying along on horseback while the shadows behind him create a blend of images of both the first and current Stars and Stripes. The illustrations of this beautifully bound rendition are more realistic than those by Jeffrey Thompson (National Geographic, 2000) and are geared to an older audience than those of Paul Galdone's classic version, Paul Revere's Ride (Crowell, 1963; o.p.). Both school and public libraries should add Bing's interpretation to their shelves-this is one patriotic poem that deserves to ride again.

Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool - 7
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929766130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929766130
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.5 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dr. David Bradford on December 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a middle school English/Social Studies teacher, I require my students to memorize The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. I was interested in how Christopher Bing had interpreted this most famous poem by Longfellow. I must say that I was stunned by his artistic rendering of the different parts of the poem. Most unique of all was the three dimensional letter attached to the flyleaf which was written by Thomas Gage, the British commander. This letter, sent to Lt. Col. Smith, described how he (Gage) would march a force of men to Concord to seize any munitions the Americans might have stored there. And equally incredible is the three dimensional fold out deposition by Paul Revere which described the actions he took to warn the Americans the British were coming. This book was alive with surprises and "hands on" interactivity. When I tried this book out on my 110 students, they were amazed. Then something really amazing happened....history and a poem came alive, giving them a much fuller understanding of the events of April 18, 1775. The way the poem was layed out page by page even helped them memorize the poem quickly and accurately. The maps, illustrations, and the miscellany concerning the historical ride lend so much to this famous poem that even the most jaded American historian/teacher could learn all over again why we Americans are who we are and why we do the patriotic things we do. This is a must have book for every red-blooded American! Thank you Christopher Bing for transforming American history.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on December 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Christopher Bing, author of the 2001 Caldecott Honor book, Casey At The Bat, is back with his innovative and creative interpretation of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's, The Midnight Ride Of Paul Revere. His obvious love of history, meticulous research, and attention to detail transports the reader back to that long ago night. This is a very visual experience. Mr Bing's marvelously evocative illustrations give the appearance of old engravings in dark blues and subdued tones. And the text itself, looks as if it was printed on yellowed parchment, and torn from an old book or diary. Imaginations will soar as children examine historical objects, and re-creations of maps, military orders, and other documents, that appear officially sealed, and can be opened and read. This adds to the drama and excitement of the poem, and brings Longfellow's words to life. With additional end notes and historical information about the days leading up that fateful night, and beyond, and a short biography of Longfellow, Christopher Bing has authored a unique, interactive American experience. Perfect for youngsters 8 and older, The Midnight Ride Of Paul Revere is a masterpiece to be treasured and savored each and every time it's read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I think this book is great! It's an educational book about a very important ride that warned America the British were coming. It's also an adventurous book, that tells how America beat Great Britain and won are independence . It's an event that effected all of are lives. Ages 5-14 will love this book in my opinion. It's a great book that I think you should read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Corinne H. Smith VINE VOICE on February 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
You know this book is special as soon as you touch it. You realize that the look of leather on the cover is just that, a look. You flip through the pages and find a scrapbook, complete with worn and mildewed pages, enhanced with token mementos that look so three-dimensional you must trace them with a tentative finger. A letter from Thomas Gage to Lieutenant Colonel Smith is tucked inside the front cover; the Deposition of Paul Revere is stuck in the back. We find a map of the British plan and a corresponding map of the Middlesex Alarm, including Revere's actual route. This is *not* just a casual recitation of the classic poem. The words proceed on faded sheets while Bing's illustrations hint at period woodcuts. No explanations are necessary within the text. Notes are saved for the end, and they reveal the minor inaccuracies in the Longfellow version (one of the biggest being that Paul Revere was captured outside of Lexington and that his companion Dr. Samuel Prescott was the one who made it all the way to Concord). A gift for any age ... especially for those of us who can chime off part of the rhyme but forget the whole story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A on January 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book comes alive when you open it and are allowed to step back in time with the wonderful backbeat of Longfellow's great American poem about the "the British are coming", and awakening of the people from Boston to Concord by Paul Revere. This is the beginning of America! Right before the "shot heard round the world" folks. A poem that shaped America not only in the eyes of Americans, but the rest of the world. Longfellow's poetry was simple genius. The art of Christopher Bing is outstanding. This exceptional book has the kind of creativity I would like to see more of in Children's Literature. A unique book that can be found on adult bookshelves as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Zadorozny on August 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been searching for a good edition of this book for years. I remember constantly checking it out of my library when I was younger and loving the poem. This is one book I'm proud to have in my own growing library and I know one day, my daughter will love reading it as well.
The illustrations that Christopher Bing did for the book are FANTASTIC and so are the maps and the actual inserts of the letter Paul Revere delivered and his deposition. I feel like I own a wonderful piece of history!
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