BUILDING LIBERTY by Serge Hochain

BUILDING LIBERTY

A Statue Is Born
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rare (and subpar) is the library that doesn’t already offer several accounts of Lady Liberty’s creation, but this fictionalized import merits consideration for its unusual angle. In large, sequential panels, Hochain traces major stages of the statue’s construction, transportation, and reassembly through the eyes of four young workers: two French, two American. Drawn with a fine but not obsessive attention to detail (think Arthur Geisert, rather than Martin Handford), his pulled-back shop, shipboard, and street scenes deliver clear views of how Liberty’s original models were scaled up, molded, riveted, and braced—simultaneously imparting a real sense of the project’s massive scale, and also of dress and architecture in Paris and New York. Too many rough edges remain, from a misspelling of Bartholdi’s name and some anachronistic language (“No way!” “skyscrapers” “Geronimo-o-o-o-o-o-o!” to confusing panel placement) to give this an unreserved thumbs-up, but readers already conversant with the twin histories of the statue and its pedestal might be intrigued by the personal points of view. (details of construction) (Fictionalized nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7922-6765-6
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: National Geographic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2004