cover image America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

Katherine Lee Bates. G. P. Putnam's Sons, $18.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-399-23885-7

Pairing Katharine Lee Bates's famous 1895 poem with majestic watercolor panoramas, Wendell Minor creates a breathtaking visual journey to some of the country's diverse landscapes and monuments in America the Beautiful. He takes readers from coast to coast in full-bleed spreads, highlighting many of America's famous landmarks, from a space shuttle launch against a vivid Florida sky to a serene, golden Kansas wheatfield. The realistic paintings stretch across the centuries as well, including one of the 1627 Plimoth Plantation and another depicting the New York City skyline post-Sept. 11, 2001 (alongside the verse, ""Thine alabaster/ cities gleam/ Undimmed/ by human tears!"" the nighttime skyline shows the two memorial beams of light where the World Trade Center towers once stood). Concluding pages explain each illustration's location and significance.