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THE JOURNEY OF THE ONE AND ONLY DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE by Judith St. George

THE JOURNEY OF THE ONE AND ONLY DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

By Judith St. George (Author) , Will Hillenbrand (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-399-23738-0
Publisher: Philomel

This is undeniably winning; whether it is good, however, is up for discussion. St. George employs her lively style to chronicle the journeys of the Declaration of Independence (and its copies) through American history. Jefferson composed it, 25 copies were printed and the signers put their signatures to an engrossed version, i.e. written in large clear letters on parchment. It’s that version that has been rolled up and hidden, recopied, hung in sunlight (which faded it), in a room with cigar smokers and a fireplace, restored and fought over by the Library of Congress and the National Archives. St. George casually races through American history. She makes a running joke that parchment must be rolled, not folded, but never explains why or what parchment is. The pictures, charming as they are, are certainly not meant to be historical (or literal) with their cartoony aspects and odd touches (the restoration folk treat the Declaration with cardiac monitors, stethoscope and test tube). Children will probably love it, but whether they will get any honest history out of it is a different question. (bibliography) (Picture book. 5-9)