Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

America The Beautiful

America The Beautiful

Robert Sabuda
Novelty Book
For ages 4 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2004   ISBN: 978-0689847448

Open the first page of this book and a fabulous paper Golden Gate Bridge opens up. Little white boats and ships sail under it. At the top of the page the moving words so well known by so many... "O Beautiful for spacious skies" begins. Turn another page and you get to see those "amber waves of grain." The next page reveals an extraordinary paper portrait of Mouth Rushmore, one of the "purple mountain majesties."

As the words of the song unfold, so do Robert Sabuda's remarkable paper creations unfold. At the back of the book one finds the statue of liberty and thus in this paper world and tribute we have indeed gone from "sea to shining sea" - from the Golden Gate Bridge to New York City.

On the back pages of the book readers will also find the remaining stanzas of Katharine Lee Bates' famous song lyrics which first appeared in print on July 4th 1895. Robert Sabuda presents these stanzas in a mini pop-up book creation.

Pop-up book fans will delight at this extraordinary paper art creation and children will find that perhaps they understand what Elizabeth Lee Bates was trying to say as they look in wonder at a paper farm surrounded by fruit trees, and as they gaze at a paper paddle steamer sailing on the Mississippi River.