Lady Liberty: A Biography

Doreen Rappaport (Author) Matt Tavares (Illustrator)
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"Tributes to the Statue of Liberty abound, but this stands out for its unusual approach and powerful illustrations." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

It begins in 1865 as a romantic idea, but ten years later Édouard Laboulaye's dream catches fire. Sculptor Auguste Bartholdi gives the dream the form of a lady, holding a torch to "enlighten the world." Engineers, plasterers, carpenters, and coppersmiths work together to turn the lady into a monument more than 100 feet tall. Joseph Pulitzer calls on readers to help fund a pedestal, and hundreds send in nickels, dimes, and even roosters for the cause. Doreen Rappaport's poetic vignettes and Matt Tavares's magnificent images remind us of the origins of a national symbol -- and show that it took a lot of people to make the Lady. Back matter includes statue dimensions, a time line, an author note, an illustrator note, sources, and suggestions for further reading.

Product Details

Candlewick Press (MA)
Publish Date
May 10, 2011
8.6 X 0.3 X 10.4 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Doreen Rappaport has written many books for young readers, including an acclaimed trilogy about the African-American experience: No More!, Free at Last!, and Nobody Gonna Turn Me 'Round, all illustrated by Shane W. Evans. She is also the author of Martin's Big Words: the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., illustrated by Bryan Collier. She lives in Copake Falls, New York.

Matt Tavares is the illustrator of Iron Hans: A Grimms' Fairy Tale, retold by Stephen Mitchell; Jack and the Beanstalk, retold by E. Nesbit; and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. He has also written and illustrated three books inspired by baseball: Mudball, Oliver's Game, and Zachary's Ball. Matt Tavares lives in Ogunquit, Maine.


Rappaport uses a literary device that gives the writing a satisfying emotional immediacy...modest voices enlarge the narrative and, at the same time, make it more intimate...Tavares creates images with a pageantlike grandeur.
--New York Times Book Review

Heartfelt...adds up to a stirring reminder of what Lady Liberty stands for.
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Large in scale and monumental in effect.
--Booklist (starred review)

A reverent and passionate portrait.
--San Francisco Chronicle

Spectacular picture book...stunning.
--The Buffalo News