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LADY LIBERTY by Doreen Rappaport Kirkus Star


A Biography

by Doreen Rappaport & illustrated by Matt Tavares

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: May 13th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7636-2530-6
Publisher: Candlewick

“She will be massive but elegant, / as grand as any one of the / Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.” Tributes to the Statue of Liberty abound, but this one stands out for its unusual approach and powerful illustrations. Rappaport traces the statue’s history in a series of stately free-verse poems in the voices of those who became involved in its creation: from Edouard de Laboulaye, who first proposed it, and sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, his assistant, to young Florence De Foreest, who sent her two pet roosters to help pay for the base; and José Martí, Cuban exile and journalist. Generally viewed from low angles, all of the solid, serious human figures in Tavares’s three-quarter-spread paintings bulk larger than life—and lead up to a spectacular climactic foldout view of the monument towering into cloudy skies on the rainy day of her unveiling. Closing with heartfelt comments from several immigrants or their children, this adds up to a stirring reminder of what Lady Liberty stands for. (author’s and illustrator’s notes, statistics, timeline, sources) (Poetry. 9-11, adult)