America the Beautiful: Together We Stand

Katharine Lee Bates, Author, Bryan Collier, Illustrator, Jon J. Muth, Illustrator, Mary Grand Pre, Illustrator, Raul Colon, Illustrator, Sonia Lynn Sadler, Illustrator, Yuyi Morales, Illustrator, LeUyen Pham, Illustrator, Chris Soentpiet, Illustrator, Diane Goode, Illustrator, John Hendrix, Illustrator
Katharine Lee Bates, illus. by Bryan Collier, Raúl Colón, et al. Scholastic/Orchard, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-49207-2
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Yuyi Morales, Jon J Muth, and LeUyen Pham are among 10 top-drawer illustrators that form a more perfect union of sorts, interpreting lines from Bates’s popular patriotic song; each spread also features a stirring quote from a famous American. Some artists take a direct approach: Harry Potter illustrator Mary GrandPré, who has “For amber waves of grain,” and a quote from Thomas Jefferson (“I believe... that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another”) shows a trio of children in a radiant field of grass, turning a weathered tree trunk into a literal prairie schooner. Sonia Lynn Sadler, one of several artists that go the mural route, contributes the book’s most striking and least literal image; she uses “Above the fruited plain” (paired with the opening of the Gettysburg Address) to imagine a quilting bee where Americans of all ages and backgrounds stitch together patches celebrating the nation’s greatest hits (the Statue of Liberty, the St. Louis arch, the space shuttle), a smart outlet for her folk-art style. A visually rich and much-needed reminder of America’s collective resilience. All ages. (Jan.)
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