cover image Her Right Foot

Her Right Foot

Dave Eggers, illus. by Shawn Harris. Chronicle, $19.99 (104p) ISBN 978-1-4521-6281-2

The history of the Statue of Liberty is well-known: Frenchman Édouard de Laboulaye conceived of the idea of a monument for the United States’s centennial and persuaded artist Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi to design it. Eggers starts his own story of the statue slowly, playfully (“Did you know that the Statue of Liberty comes from France? This is true. This is a factual book”). Newcomer Harris’s friendly cut-paper spreads show the colossal statue looming over the men who build it. After detailing Liberty’s installation in New York, where it welcomed waves of immigrants, Eggers makes a startling observation: the statue’s right foot is raised: “She is on the move!” And why is this? “Liberty and freedom from oppression are not things you get or grant by standing around,” Eggers asserts. “These are things that require action. Courage. An unwillingness to rest.” Harris represents Americans of all colors—veiled, in hardhats, in yarmulkes, in hoodies—talking together, admiring the statue, becoming citizens. Eggers’s crucial and timely re-examination makes Liberty an active participant in a debate that is more contentious than ever. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)