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Looking at Liberty    by Harvey Stevenson order for
Looking at Liberty
by Harvey Stevenson
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2003 (2003)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This inspiring picture book brings history to life as it addresses questions raised when we look up at the Statue of Liberty ... 'why / she's standing against the sky, / and what her silent story might be.' We are told that French sculptor Fr9d9ric-Auguste Bartholdi drew plans for the statue in 1869, and that 'mail damp with salty air' crossed the Atlantic in the following years and created 'excitement and hope'.

We learn of teamwork and problem solving, sweat, sawdust and scaffolding, hope and wonder, all aimed at 'seeing that dream come true'. I didn't realize that Liberty was built in Paris, where 'Flags and noisy brass bands celebrated at her feet', then taken apart and transported in 214 crates in a ship with 'Atlantic sunsets off her bow'. Then 'for the next sixty years, more than twelve million immigrants sailed into New York Harbor' to be greeted by Liberty 'in a place that is new, and where everything is possible.'

The back of the book includes a time-line of the statue's history, a bibliography and also the poem, The New Colossus - 'Give me your tired, your poor ...' Looking at Liberty is a timely, beautifully illustrated perspective on the quintessential symbol of freedom and hope, its origins and its meaning, especially to young eyes.

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