Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Longfellow's well-known poem never appeared to better advantage: Rand has created a rich rendition of the Revolutionary landscape. And Revere himself is the perfect patriot, rugged and intense as he saddles up, ``Ready to ride and spread the alarm / Through every Middlesex village and farm.'' As Revere rides, the urgency of the pictures inspires the reader to flip the pages at an increasing pace until the dramatic confrontation of the Redcoats and the farmers. If there is any complaint here, it is with Longfellow himself, for rearranging the facts to exclude mention of Revere's fellow riders, Dawes and Prescott. Nevertheless, this is a gem of a lesson about one glorious morning in America's history. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's classic Paul Revere's Ride is newly interpreted with illustrations by Monica Vachula. Throughout, detailed oil paintings are framed against a textured backdrop, which looks like antique linen. Smaller inset illustrations (of the two lamps, or the "startled... pigeons") appear beneath each stanza. Paintings of New England livestock, and a closing portrait of Revere are especially well rendered.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Enjoy the famous narrative poem recreating Paul Revere's midnight ride in 1775 to warn the people of the Boston countryside that the British were coming. It never fails to entertain and makes a wonderful read-aloud. 1996 (orig.
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Beautiful, luminous watercolors help make this stirring poem about Paul Revere's famous ride accessible to a wide age range. Peaceful, moonlit scenes of the sleeping countryside and hamlets contrast with dramatic action scenes of galloping horses and exciting battles. Maps and a historical background note are included.
Here is the familiar Longfellow poem about the legendary citizen who roused his countrymen to confront the British troops at the start of the American Revolution. Vachula's research is apparent in the representations and details of her almost photographic illustrations. The presentation is formal, with a large painting on one page facing lines of the poem and a small picture, all set on a linen-textured background. She chooses some dramatic moments to illustrate, but uses other opportunities to set scenes with animals, or carousing Redcoats, or a quiet churchyard with only a black cat amid the tombstones. Add this to Stephen Krensky's prose version of Paul Revere's Midnight Ride (Harper 2002) and Christopher Bing's illustrated version of the poem (Handprint, 2001) along with the new Paul Revere's Ride: The Landlord's Tale (HarperCollins, 2003) for a patriotic celebration and comparisons. Here an added historical note details background fact from fiction. 2003, Boyds Mills Press,
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Another version of Longfellow's classic poem is brought to light. Vachula has chosen a burlaplike background for her historically accurate oil paintings, giving not only an antique but also a homey feel to her work. Each spread features 5 to 16 lines from the poem and a small picture opposite a full painting. For instance, the "spark/Struck out by a steed" is accompanied by a close-up of a powder horn, while another page that tells of the patriot who would be "Pierced by a British musket-ball" shows the fallen soldier being attended by a clergyman. Each thumbnail sketch draws attention to specific ideas that might otherwise be lost in the larger illustration. Although Longfellow's poem is not known for its total historical accuracy, Vachula's paintings are so carefully rendered that anyone familiar with the area will recognize Paul Revere's house, the Old North Church, and the bridge at Lexington and Concord. Done primarily in somber blues, greens, and gray tones, the artwork conveys the seriousness of the political situation and makes the touches of red from the grenadiers' uniforms all the more startling. Much more traditional than Jeffrey Thompson's highly stylized art in The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (National Geographic, 2000) and even more realistic than the engravings and paintings by Christopher Bing (Handprint, 2001), this edition will be welcomed by purists who prefer an almost photographic look at Revere's historic ride.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
They don't write 'em like this any more, which is too bad, as Longfellow gave stirring life to a small part of the Revolutionary War and made a silversmith a legend in a poem that has proven extremely popular to illustrators. As historian Jayne Triber's note indicates, Revere was a spy as well as a silversmith and the ride was carefully planned, so Longfellow's verse is not historically accurate. But it is still a terrific read-aloud, as the rhythm and rhyme propel the story, printed here on textured, linen-like paper opposite Vachula's oil paintings. Her acknowledgements indicate that she did copious historical research to get the details of clothing, landscape, and architecture correct. Her images match the drama of the poem: the British ship Somerset, "A phantom ship, with each mast and spar / Across the moon like a prison bar," is seen over the shoulder of the rower "with muffled oar." Later, Revere is framed in a window through which the reader is gazing, giving word to a woman and her child in the house opposite. Or "his friend" is lurking in a doorway listening to the enemy through an open window. For all the drama, the illustrations are static, like tableaux. The colors are deep and rich, with the kind of muffled hues that give a satisfying historical cast to the pictures. A fine version, although it is not so powerful or engaging as Charles Santore's (below) or the Caldecott Honor-winning marvel by Christopher Bing (2001). (historical note) (Picture book/poetry. 7-12)
From the Publisher
"Longfellow's well-known poem never appeared to better advantage: Rand has created a rich rendition of the Revolutionary landscape."Publisher's Weekly
"The richly colored, romantic watercolors duplicate Longfellow's imagery, often quite literally, and effectively reinforce the narrative quality of the poem."School Library Journal
"Enjoy the famous narrative poem recreating Paul Revere's midnight ride in 1775 to warn the people of the Boston countryside that the British were coming. It never fails to entertain and makes a wonderful read-aloud."Children's Literature