ELECTRA TO THE RESCUE by Valerie Biebuyck


Saving a Steamboat and the Story of Shelburne Museum
Age Range: 7 - 10
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Many of her peers and relations no doubt would have referred to Electra Havemeyer Webb as a woman “with more money than sense.” Born and married into extreme wealth, she had the wherewithal to do whatever she wanted—and she did. Beginning at the age of 19, she began collecting American folk art, from whimsical toys and wooden Indians to an entire lighthouse and the steamship Ticonderoga. This lively account, lavishly illustrated with full-color photographs of her gleanings as well as archival images, presents readers with a portrait of an indomitable force who rescued folk art from the oblivion her snootier peers would have consigned it to, enshrining it in the eclectic compound that became the Shelburne (Vt.) Museum. It’s a breezily agreeable text that hits the high points and leaves out the low ones; when they’re done, kids will both want to visit the museum and wish Electra had been their grandmother. The account is peppered with dialogue that assists in the development of Electra’s redoubtable character; the sourcing statement, however, appears in a teeny-tiny font on the copyright page, where child readers are unlikely to find it, rather than in the backmatter. (afterword, glossary, further resources) (Biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-56792-308-7
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Godine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2008


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