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Lady Liberty: A Biography Hardcover – May 13, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 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
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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. Grades 2-5. --Carolyn Phelan
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We start with Edouard de Laboulaye, a French professor of law in 1865, through the work of the sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, the engineer Gustave Eiffel, the poet Emma Lazarus and a number more. Some are very famous and some are surely unknown to us, but moving nevertheless. Those that dug the holes and those that gave their pennies...and their chickens...to see her completed. The story is told from the view point of 10 individuals who were involved with the Lady's construction, most stories spanning a two page spread, the text written in a narrow column, almost like poetry, and the rest taken up by the very beautiful illustrations of Matt Tavares.
A wonderful introduction to the Statue of Liberty for kids...but you adults will enjoy it as well, I promise.
What a wonderful addition to a classroom setting for any age, and a lovely welcome to the US gift.
Most recent customer reviews
It's the history of the Statue of Liberty and a wonderful book.