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.
"Minor creates a breathtaking visual journey to some of the country's diverse landscapes and monuments, explored in Bates's famous 1895 poem," said PW. All ages. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-Wendell Minor's gorgeously illustrated tribute to America (Putnam, 2003) is further enhanced by his calm reading. The narration begins with an introduction to the history of "America the Beautiful," a poem written by Katharine Lee Bates over 100 years ago. Later set to music composed by Samuel A. Ward, Bates's words have become America's unofficial anthem. Minor's illustrations are the images brought to his mind by Bates's timeless words. The poem's narration is slow enough to allow listeners to absorb the book's illustrations. It is also accompanied by soft music and gentle sound effects correspond to the illustrations. Listeners might be slightly confused by the small excerpt of Ward's biography read aloud when there are actually much lengthier bios of both the author and the composer in the book. A lovely orchestration of the song, which is sure to give listeners goose bumps, follows the narration. The first track on the CD and the first side of the cassette include page-turn sound effects.-Jennifer Iserman, Dakota County Library, Burnhaven Branch, Burnsville, MN Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.