cover image Little Miss Liberty

Little Miss Liberty

Chris Robertson, Bengt Ed. Robertson, . . Chronicle, $15.95 (36pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-4669-1

Robertson enters the children's book arena with a lighthearted tribute to the Statue of Liberty on the 120th anniversary of her inauguration on the 4th of July. Little Miss Liberty—depicted in blackline cartoon and painted with her usual patina throughout—is born on a July morning in Paris. Robertson depicts her as a toddler reaching for the cookie jar, with pacifier in mouth, mimicking the real statue's pose. The heroine rapidly outpaces her peers and eventually her parents in the size department. Cheery cartoons accompany an ambling narrative that aims to humorously explain the statue's appearance (e.g., "Her parents had a hard time finding clothes that would fit her. Finally, they gave up and wrapped her in a queen-size bed sheet"). The story also sets out to describe the statue's symbolic role. When she started school, "Little Miss Liberty was a friend to all... to those who felt different or misunderstood, lonely or sad." After outgrowing her home, she journeys around the world (lit torch in hand) and finally settles in New York harbor. Most watercolor vignettes are dominated by a single hue, allowing the green Miss Liberty to be the focal point of each scene. Many of the comic nuances and symbolism may be missed by those not familiar with the statue or U.S. history. But more sophisticated readers will likely appreciate this whimsical account of how the statue came to America. Ages 4-up. (May)