Kelly DiPucchio, , illus. by Richard Egielski. . Hyperion, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-1876-1

Caldecott medalist Egielski's artwork outshines the text in this inventive book about the Statue of Liberty climbing down "from her sacred place" and walking from New York to San Francisco. She waves to citizen farmers, engineers, children of immigrants and cheering cowboys along the way. As she gazes at the Golden Gate Bridge, a boy delivers messages to the homesick statue from the citizens of New York ("Please come back!"), and when Liberty returns to her harbor, New Yorkers treat her to a ticker tape parade. The concept is interesting, but DiPucchio's (Bed Hogs ) phrases at times seem shoehorned to fit the strict meter and the co-opting of familiar song lyrics (Liberty is "in search of amber waves of grain," and journeys from "sea to shining sea" and "travels 'cross the fruited plain") contribute to a sense of trumped-up sentimentality. However, Egielski, like Pygmalion, brings the statue to life. Like Paul Bunyan, Liberty towers over her surroundings as she strides across the country, reacting to all that she sees, always retaining her stately grace. A concluding author's note lists kid-pleasing facts about the statue (e.g., she has 25-foot feet that "would require sandals in an astounding size 879!"). Ages 4-7. (Sept.)