Shea gives an oft-told tale a slightly different slant, focusing on the design challenges involved in the construction, deconstruction, transportation, reconstruction and later refurbishing of Lady Liberty, which was the tallest human-made structure of her time. Capped by a big double-gatefold portrait of statue and base, Zahares’s illustrations add considerable drama to the story, using intense brights and darks, bold colors, and scenes in which not only the statue, but buildings, people, boats, shipping crates and even raindrops look solid and monumental. Closing with some rousing rhetoric, plus a timeline to the present and a short reading list, this makes a memorable addition to the shelf of tributes to this country’s most recognizable national symbol. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-8050-7220-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2005



It took four weeks for illustrations of scenes from the US’s Civil War battles to make it from the front lines to readers’ hands; Morrison (Cheetah, 1998, etc.) explains that process in his uniquely handsome book. Morrison introduces the fictional artist, William Forbes, commissioned by the fictional Burton’s Illustrated News to follow the Union Army into battle at Bull Run. Throughout the day’s fighting Forbes makes quick sketches; it is risky business, and he is often in mortal peril. That night he makes a more complete drawing, which is handed to a courier and taken back to the Burton offices. There, engravers set to work translating Forbes’s drawing to a grid of wood blocks (Morrison includes interesting incidentals along the way, giving the process its due). The images are converted to electrotype, whereafter it is finally ready for the operators and pressman. Shortly after that, the newsboys are seen hawking the illustrated weekly, containing Forbes’s image a mere month after the actual event. Morrison successfully renders the complexities of illustrating newspapers 150 years ago, and just as successfully conveys that in abandoning the wood block for the photograph, some of the art was sacrificed for speed. (glossary) (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-395-91426-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999




Arnold and Hewett (Stories in Stone, 1996, etc.) record the harrowing rescue of a baby gray whale who had become separated from her mother off the coast of California. She was discovered on January 10, 1997, exhausted, hungry, and near death. J.J. was 14 feet long when she was brought to SeaWorld as a young calf. Gaining 900 pounds in the first month, she had to be moved to a new home by crane. Her caretakers started planning on giving J.J. skills so that she could be released and survive on her own in the ocean. Divers put her food on the bottom of the pool, each day in a different location, so she could practice searching. Arnold is relaxed in her telling, allowing the already dramatic events to unfold naturally: “Everyone cheered as J.J. took a big breath, dove deep, and disappeared. The young whale was on her own.” Full-color photos capture the excitement of J.J.’s release, but also the hard work of preparing her for her return to the sea. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8167-4961-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1999

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