America the Beautiful (Neil Waldman)

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The same country that inspired Katharine Lee Bates in 1893 to write "America the Beautiful" inspired Neil Waldman, one hundred years later, to illustrate Bates's poem with gorgeous acrylic paintings.
Waldman's stunning panoramas take us from coast-to-coast: from Niagara Falls to Napa's fruited plains, from Mount Rushmore to the Statue of Liberty. In the back of the book, there is a glossary that provides readers with more information about each site. Also included is the sheet ...

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The same country that inspired Katharine Lee Bates in 1893 to write "America the Beautiful" inspired Neil Waldman, one hundred years later, to illustrate Bates's poem with gorgeous acrylic paintings.
Waldman's stunning panoramas take us from coast-to-coast: from Niagara Falls to Napa's fruited plains, from Mount Rushmore to the Statue of Liberty. In the back of the book, there is a glossary that provides readers with more information about each site. Also included is the sheet music for the song "America the Beautiful," combining Bates's poem with the music of Samuel A. Ward's hymn.
Join Katharine Lee Bates and Neil Waldman as they marvel at the beauty of our country, and celebrate its glory.

An illustrated edition of the nineteenth-century poem, later set to music, celebrating the beauty of America.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Illustrator Wendell Minor takes readers on a journey through America, giving a majestic tribute to our country and Katherine Lee Bates's famous patriotic poem.

In lush pictures that capture the spirit of America's landscape and history, Minor whisks readers to various corners of the country -- including the New England, the Deep South, and the Rocky Mountains -- throughout all four verses of "America the Beautiful." Minor's "amber waves of grain" showcases a Kansas wheat field, with its golden expanses under an enormous sky, while the Wright brothers' flying airplane depicts "every gain divine" at Kitty Hawk. Other gorgeous features include Mount Rushmore and the Empire State Building, with back-of-the-book biographies of Bates and composer Samuel Augustus Ward, short blurbs about each of the scenes, and a U.S. map showing all of the locations rounding out the book.

A remarkably beautiful read that stands out among the many "America the Beautiful" picture books, Minor's rendition will indeed stir your soul. The book's scenes are vast and breathtaking, with vibrant colors that make each illustration leap off the page. A wonderful idea for gift giving to young patriots, and a rich tool for learning about the U.S. of A. Matt Warner

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A Wellesley professor's trip to Pikes Peak in 1893 inspired the now-famous verse extolling the American landscape; Waldman ( Light ; Bring Back the Deer ) writes that his own travels west instilled in him an awe of ``beauty beyond the realm of imagination.'' Using Bates's verse as his text, Waldman paints scene after scene, matching every phrase to a specific locale (these are identified in a well-designed key at the end). He pays homage to the ``spacious skies'' (above the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee), the ``purple mountain majesties'' (the Grand Tetons) and the ``fruited plains'' (the Napa Valley). Impressively and imaginatively, he conveys his wonder at natural beauty by stylizing his art: he renders each vista in thick, impressionistic strokes from a predominantly violet palette, choosing his colors as if from a paradigmatic sunset. Beautiful indeed. All ages. (July)
Publishers Weekly
Pairing Katharine Lee Bates's famous 1895 poem with majestic watercolor panoramas, Wendell Minor creates a breathtaking visual journey to some of the country's diverse landscapes and monuments in America the Beautiful. He takes readers from coast to coast in full-bleed spreads, highlighting many of America's famous landmarks, from a space shuttle launch against a vivid Florida sky to a serene, golden Kansas wheatfield. The realistic paintings stretch across the centuries as well, including one of the 1627 Plimoth Plantation and another depicting the New York City skyline post-Sept. 11, 2001 (alongside the verse, "Thine alabaster/ cities gleam/ Undimmed/ by human tears!" the nighttime skyline shows the two memorial beams of light where the World Trade Center towers once stood). Concluding pages explain each illustration's location and significance. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
America the Beautiful by Bates is the song that most kids hear at ball games. The pictures in this book are by Waldman who really helps readers see what the words of the song are saying. Whether it's the purple mountains, canyons, or an eagle in a blue sky, the pictures shows the beauty that goes from sea to shinning sea.
School Library Journal
K Up-Waldman has produced 14 stunning acrylic paintings to illustrate the first stanza of Bates's poem, and the America depicted here is as beautiful as hers must have been in 1893. Each picture is reproduced in miniature and accompanied by a brief explanation of the site at the back of the book. Although it really needs no interpretation to be appreciated and enjoyed as art, some of the impressionistic portraits will not be easily recognized. It is therefore useful to learn that ``purple mountains'' rise majestically in the Grand Tetons of northern Wyoming and the ``fruited plain'' is in California's Napa Valley. Even for the familiar, such as Mount Rushmore, the information is of interest. A fine title that should inspire its readers with a desire to see these wonders for themselves.-Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-This pictorial salute to the many facets of our country's physical landscapes and historical moments is a good way to introduce young listeners to Bates's 19th-century poem and, through the music of Samuel Augustus Ward, to a classic patriotic song. Following an author's note that clarifies some background information on the poem and Minor's approach to his illustrations, each spread proceeds to feature one to two lines of verse accompanied by an oil painting, rich in color and precise in detail. The art itself tells a story, both in time and space, moving from a pilgrim family's quiet New England town to the roar of a NASA space shuttle, from a solitary farm amid the wheat fields of Kansas to the Manhattan skyline. Readers can trace our country's founding, Westward expansion, Kitty Hawk, and 9/11 (represented by the twin beams of light). Just as importantly, they can see the variety of physical features, from vast oceans to rugged mountains, from unending meadows to quiet streams. Short biographical notes on both Bates and Ward (accompanied by copies of the handwritten poem and the original hymn), four pages of pictorial notes, and a map of the U.S. delineating each illustration's exact location are appended. Unlike Neil Waldman's America the Beautiful (Atheneum, 1993), this version offers all four verses. Use it with primary grades to introduce the song and with intermediate grades to discuss the historical perspective and geographical information behind the paintings.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689852459
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/1/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,302,050
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    Daughter Loves It!!

    My kindergarten age daughter checked this bood out from the library at school. Loves the pictures and singing the song with her toy karaoke machine. So we purchased it for her for Christmas. She was sooo excited. Still loves singing this song with the family and by herself. Great book. Highly Recommended.

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