LIBERTY by Lynn Curlee

LIBERTY

Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a comprehensive, fact-filled, and stunningly illustrated history of the Statue of Liberty. It begins with an explanation of why the French came up with the idea in the first place, and how the brilliant young sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi became interested in the project that was to be his obsession for the next 15 years. Bartholdi decided where the statue must stand as soon as he laid eyes on what is now Liberty Island. “Here . . . my statue must rise; here where people get their first view of the New World.” A brief description of neoclassicism is followed by the history of the statue’s construction and the engineering feats it required. The statue was constructed in separate stages and, after the head was built, it was exhibited in the Paris Universal Exposition of 1878. The head was pulled through the streets of Paris in a cart pulled by 13 horses (the double-page spread of Liberty’s head crossing a bridge in Paris is alone worth the price of the book). There are hardly any women mentioned or pictured in the book, and Curlee addresses this by pointing out the irony that the statue exemplifying the spirit of liberty was erected at a time when women didn’t even have the right to vote. Acrylic paintings reproduced in full color from photographic transparencies are the artistic medium, and the appealing, interesting palette of blues, blacks, and bronzes captures the ambition and majesty of the project. While the text is occasionally pompous, and perhaps not as much fun as the Betsy and Guilio Maestro book on the same subject, Liberty is an engaging and useful resource for the classroom and library. (specifications, timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-82823-3
Page count: 42pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2000




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