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LIBERTY! by Allan Drummond


by Allan Drummond & illustrated by Allan Drummond

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: April 3rd, 2002
ISBN: 0-374-34385-3
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

On the day of its unveiling, the flag covering the Statue of Liberty’s face was mistakenly lowered too soon; Drummond imagines how it happened. The harbor was filled with boats—some of them bringing new immigrants to this country, and one containing women protesting the new statue. They found it odd that liberty should be portrayed as a woman when women were not allowed to vote in the US, and in fact only one woman and one small girl were allowed at the unveiling ceremony on the island. But the island was crowded with men—men who helped build the statue, put it together, and transport it from France. And in the crowd was a small boy enlisted by Mr. Bartholdi to signal him with his handkerchief. While everyone was waiting, the young French girl sneezed, and the young boy offered his handkerchief. And that is how the world came to see the Statue’s face a little too early. Enhancing the story are Drummond’s (Casey Jones, 2001, etc.) marvelous watercolors full of bright yellows, blues, and reds. The rainy gray day is reflected in the grayish-green water and the dark clothing and umbrellas of the crowds, while the excitement and importance of the event are seen in the brightly colored flags of France and the US. As the story mentions the men who put the statue together in America or made the statue in France, vignettes show the various stages and steps involved in its construction. In closing, Drummond reminds readers what freedom really means. An author’s note introduces the story, separating the facts of the day from those details he imagined and giving more historical information about Lady Liberty. (Picture book. 4-10)