The Declaration of Independence: The Words That Made America

The Declaration of Independence: The Words That Made America


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439407007
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 06/28/2002
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 7.68(w) x 11.34(h) x 0.73(d)
Age Range: 9 - 13 Years

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The Declaration of Independence: The Words That Made America 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is The Declaration of Independance in beautifully illustrated book form. If you ever had to read the Declaration and found it 'yawn' boring, read this. It makes the document come alive in a way you have never read it before. Don't miss it. Every U.S. household should own a copy.
khallbee on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Apart from a short forward and introduction, this book is composed almost entirely of the words of the Declaration of Independence. Each page contains an often opaque phrase, such as "For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us", written in large, hand-engraved type. The opposite page contains an old-fashioned political cartoon of the sort popular at the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence. These pen-and-ink drawings are made to look like colored woodcut engravings, with dense cross-hatching to represent shading and thin, curling word bubbles issuing from the figures mouths like ribbons. The drawings attempt to illuminate the meaning behind the words; for example, the picture opposite the "For Quartering large troops" page depicts a tall house with British soldiers hanging out of every window. Another picture, spreading across two pages with the text beneath it, shows King George and Benjamin Franklin engaged in a tug-of-war over a piece of paper marked "Charter". George is saying, "Its mine! I can take it back!" while Franklin admonishes, "George... you're going to regret this..."While the concept of this book is indeed creative, and it seems to be largely effective in making the Declaration of Independence more accessible to younger readers, I still have a few reservations about the formatting. Political cartoons, no matter how bland or instructional, have never been especially good at showing nuance or presenting a balanced perspective. In all the frames, King George is portrayed as a weak, greedy man, sometimes fat, sometimes old and senile, but always the Big Bad. While the idea of justified rebellion is an essential part of our national creation myth, these illustrations present an incredibly self-righteous and one-dimensional story. On top of the fact that few elementary schoolers will get the creative visual pun of using a contemporaneous illustrative technique to illustrate such a text, even fewer will have opened a newspaper to the Opinion page in order to see a political cartoon. I suppose what bother me most about this book is the fact that the author (though he describes himself as illustrator and inscriber), makes it seem as though the text of the Declaration is standing on its own when in fact he is putting his own accusatory spin on things. This book would be much better served with explanatory and contextual passages than pictures of the sort he provides. Written (although not recommended) for children in 3-6 grade.