Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Liberty Rising: The Story of the Statue of Liberty

Liberty Rising: The Story of the Statue of Liberty

Pegi Deitz Shea
Illustrator:  Wade Zahares 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 10
Henry Holt, 2005   ISBN: 978-0805072204

A great admirer of America and her government, Frenchman Edouard De Laboulaye, wanted to create something to celebrate America's hundredth birthday on July 4th, 1876. Edouard wanted to give America a gift, a big gift which would stand the test of time. Edouard talked to his friend the architect Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi. Bartholdi came up with a design which promised to be unique, classic, and impressive. He wanted to make a statue of a woman holding a tablet and a torch. She would be wearing ancient Greek style robes and she would have a seven pointed crown on her hair.

With the help of many craftsmen and artists Bartholdi began to create scale models of the statue. Each model was bigger than the last until Bartholdi was building the real statue. Once Liberty was ready she had to be taken apart, carefully packed up in crates, and shipped all the way to America where she had to be put together again, a bit like a giant puzzle.

This true story of how the Statue of Liberty came to be is inspiring and fascinating. The process was a long one and many men had to work many hours before the project was completed. American and French citizens reached into their pockets to find the money to pay for the statue and thus the close relationship between the two countries was made all the stronger. Unique illustrations in bold flat colors show the project from its inception to its completion and a double page fold-out shows the statue as she looks today.

At the back of the book the author has added a section which includes more information about the 'life' of Lady Liberty.