This Land Is Your Land
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This Land Is Your Land

5.0 3
by Woody Guthrie, Kathy Jakobsen
     
 

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Since its debut in the 1940s, Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" has become one of the best-loved folk songs in America. This classic ballad is now brought to life in a richly illustrated edition for the the whole family to share. Kathy Jakobsen's detailed paintings, which invite readers on a journey across the country, create an unforgettable portrait of our

Overview

Since its debut in the 1940s, Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" has become one of the best-loved folk songs in America. This classic ballad is now brought to life in a richly illustrated edition for the the whole family to share. Kathy Jakobsen's detailed paintings, which invite readers on a journey across the country, create an unforgettable portrait of our diverse land and the people who live it.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
"... An ambitious tribute to a popular song that will live as long as the American spirit."
From the Publisher
"This beautiful homage to America and to a favorite folksinger is sure to be a family treasure."—Publishers Weekly

"This effort is what great picture books are all about."—School Library Journal

"... An ambitious tribute to a popular song that will live as long as the American spirit."—New York Times Book Review

"All and all, this beautifully designed book belongs in every school as a part of our musical history, as a tribute to the Dust Bowl era and the political activism that music can reinforce and encourage, and as an elegant example of picture book art."—Children's Literature

Horn Book
Exuberant.
Kathleen Krull
. . .[A]n ambitious tribute to a popular song that will live as long as the American spirit.
New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From California to the New York island, readers of all ages will be singing the praises of this picture-book tribute to a legendary folk musician and one of his best-known compositions. The popular version of the song, which Guthrie recorded in 1949, omitted some of Guthrie's original lyrics. Restored here, those verses broaden the song, transforming it to an anthem for the downtrodden: "In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people;/ By the relief office I seen my people;/ As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,/ Is this land made for you and me?" Acclaimed folk artist Jakobsen's (My New York) expansive, sparkling oil landscapes depict the natural beauty of the country -- a stand of redwoods, a country campground, etc. In several multi-paneled spreads, Guthrie stars as wandering troubadour, carrying his guitar from coast to coast and landmark to landmark (all clearly labeled). These spreads are bordered with geometric designs inspired by traditional "tramp art" carvings, while their corners contain hand-lettered snippets of Guthrie lyrics and quotes. One memorable page features a star-studded cast of musicians who have performed Guthrie's songs over the years and also a roster of artists who played at a Woody Guthrie tribute concert in 1996, all of whom are identified in small print. As an added bonus, the final pages contain a tribute from fellow singer/songwriter Pete Seeger; a brief biography of Guthrie, illustrated with black-and-white family photographs; and complete music and lyrics to "This Land Is Your Land." This beautiful homage to America and to a favorite folksinger is sure to be a family treasure.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Jakobsen has managed to show our country's diversity both in people and scenery. The paintings are breathtaking. Each double page spread includes two lines of the song. At the completion of the song, there is a colorful foldout map showing the Woody Guthrie Memorial Highway and the array of people and activities that inspired him. A three-page tribute to Guthrie by Pete Seeger, with family photos and the music, complete the book. The only thing missing is a tape of Guthrie singing this spine-tingling song which could easily be our national anthem. The most inspirational book of 1998.
Children's Literature - Susan Hepler
As she did for Reeve Lindbergh's Johnny Appleseed, Jakobsen's detailed folk artist oil paintings on canvas make visual this most American of songs by Woody Guthrie. Wide-open spreads of each verse detail a wandering troubadour who sees cities, valleys, prairies, beaches, deserts, and redwood forests: the land that was "made for you and me." The repeating chorus is illustrated in old-fashioned postcard format: an oval center of the postcard depicts Woody singing or writing songs in many of the settings important to his life while four surrounding vignettes and two sidebars depict some of the subject matter of his songs. In addition, small quilt-like squares in the corners repeat familiar phrases and couplets from Guthrie's many songs. Jakobsen features the complete lyrics so that the more politically pointed ones not usually sung in schools are included. Illustrations depict breadlines and ravaged urban neighborhoods and later these same scenes now cleaned up and full of hope, as were Guthrie's songs. Scholarly notes include a tribute to Woody Guthrie that was written by his old singing partner Pete Seeger and a two-page biography illustrated with archival photos of Guthrie and his family. All and all, this beautifully designed book belongs in every school as a part of our musical history, as a tribute to the Dust Bowl era and the political activism that music can reinforce and encourage, and as an elegant example of picture book art. All children can sing along, of course, but older children will appreciate the way so many aspects of Guthrie's life and times have been worked into the pictures.
School Library Journal
This effort is what great picture books are all about. Guthrie's familiar song is teamed with Jakobsen's oil paintings that evoke the 1920s and `30s, yet are still relevant today as, unfortunately, soup kitchens, burned-out lots, and homeless families are still very much a part of the American scene. Double-page landscapes reflect the verses of the song and show the varied terrain of the United States. Interspersed between them are labeled vignettes that include song lyrics or quotes from Guthrie in the corners of each page. Children and adults can spend hours poring over these pages and enjoying the sights and shores, cities and towns, urban areas and the unsettled West that bring the song to life. The book ends with a short biography of the songwriter, photos and drawings of him and other folk singers of the era, a tribute by Pete Seeger, and the musical score. This is not just a celebration of Guthrie and his music. It will serve as a vehicle for classroom discussion on the Dust Bowl and the Depression and can also be used as a lead-in to a study of our country and its symbols. A book that's destined to become a favorite in libraries from coast to coast. -- Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316042727
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
08/01/2008
Edition description:
Anniversar
Pages:
42
Sales rank:
179,116
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) wrote more than a thousand folk songs, with "This Land is Your Land" being the most famous of all. His musical legacy endures today as countless fans continue to listen to and discover his popular songs.

Kathy Jakobsen is one of America's premiere folk artists and the creator of the acclaimed picture book My New York and illustrator of Johnny Appleseed. Ms. Jakobsen lives in Weston, Connecticut.

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This Land Is Your Land 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Sarah_TwinsMom More than 1 year ago
We enjoy reading this as well as singing it while looking at the pictures. We love it so much I bought a copy of the book for each of my twins classrooms. Beautiful artwork to go along with a classic song. I am going to buy a few additional copies to give out as birthday/holiday gifts. LOVE IT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definitely a book that you could enjoy with your children over and over. So much to see and read in the pages. The art is so rich and beautiful. It embraces the beauty in our country. I grew up with the music of Woody Guthrie -- his songs are so heartfelt. (The book comes with a CD.) This is a must have for your library and a great gift! We have already recommeded it to many others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I knew the song, but had never quite put it into the mental context that the book inspires. The great artwork is like a series of elaborate quilts, each one expanding the experience, helping me recognize the wonderful resources we take for granted, and which make up these United States. A book that celebrates the diversity our country was built upon! The book becomes a gift for my twin nieces on their eighth birthday, and I plan to sit down with them and share my own experiences over the years that took me to so many of the places to be found in its pages. And, I'll teach them the song, just in case they never heard it!