Harvey Stevenson, . . HarperCollins, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-000100-1

Stevenson's (Little Rabbit Goes to Sleep) lush, arrestingly composed paintings immediately draw youngsters into this lyrical tribute to the Statue of Liberty. In the opening spread, a child gazes up at the monument as the narrative reads, "Your bright eyes looking up/ may wonder why/ she's standing against the sky,/ and what her silent story might be." As the lilting verse sketches an impressionistic history of the statue from its conception to its installation ("She's got friendship in her./ A French sculptor's hopes...."), occasional prose passages at the bottom of the pages provide a factual overview of the planning, construction and impact of the monument. Children may find some of the references obscure, e.g., "She's made of plaster dust in sweating men's hair"; and "The flying red-hot iron rivets made her,/ as did the scaffolding and buckets." Stevenson's evocatively lit paintings impart a sense of the statue's impressive scale, particularly when they show men building its various sections. Especially memorable are the images of a frigate steaming across the Atlantic, carrying the pieces of the statue to America as the sunset vividly paints sky and sea; and a close-up view of the erected monument's upper torso and crowned head, glowing in reflected light. While not effervescent (like Allan Drummond's Liberty!), this is nonetheless an affectionate and graceful portrait of Lady Liberty. Pair it with Lynn Curlee's Liberty for a comprehensive look at her history and construction. Ages 4-7. (June)