America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates

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Synopsis

An inspiring homage to a beloved anthem. From his unique perspective as the great-great-grandnephew of Katharine Lee Bates, the woman who wrote 'America the Beautiful,' Chris Gall transforms this unfaltering symbol of American strength and beauty-from 'purple mountain majesties' to gleaming 'alabaster cities'-into monumental works of art. Honoring his ancestry and profound national pride, Gall enhances these timely lyrics with historical and contemporary imagery as diverse as Sacagawea's travels with Lewis and Clark, the Tuskegee Airmen, and firefighters raising the American flag at Ground Zero. Musical notation and an author's note, as well as the song's words written in Bates's own hand, are also included in this remarkable book for all ages.
 

About Katharine Lee Bates

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Katharine Lee Bates was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts on August 12, 1859. In the summer of 1893, she embarked on an extensive tour of America, from Niagara Falls, to the World's Fair in Chicago, and ultimately to Pike's Peak near Colorado Springs. It was from this vantage point that she was inspired to write the first drafts of America the Beautiful. First published on July 4, 1895 by The Congregationalist, the poem underwent 2 more revisions to become the version we know today.Chris Galls's love for all things American, as well as his desire to honor his familial heritage gave him the inspiration to create America the Beautiful, his first book. He has received over 50 major awards from the likes of the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts Magazine, The New York Art Directors Club, and Print Magazine. He lives with his wife, Ann, in Tucson, Arizona.
 
Published April 28, 2004 by Little, Brown Young Readers. 32 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for America the Beautiful

Kirkus Reviews

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Schuett's illustrations, with their slightly exaggerated forms and saturated colors, capture not only the ""fruited plains"" and ""alabaster cities"" but vistas of Bates's hometown of Falmouth, and intimate scenes of her cozy bedside table and the parlor where she welcomed guests.

Jun 01 1998 | Read Full Review of America the Beautiful

Kirkus Reviews

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this is paired with a quote from Thomas Jefferson: “I believe…that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.” An interior spread (“with brotherhood”) by LeUyen Pham repeats the cover, picturing kids wearing red-and-white striped outfits representing the flag’s stripes and kids in ...

Dec 15 2012 | Read Full Review of America the Beautiful

Kirkus Reviews

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Gall, an actual descendant of Bates, illustrates the four verses of this country’s other national anthem with bold, clean-lined, heroic American scenes, from a sturdy rural couple contemplating their “amber waves,” to firefighters raising a flag over the ruins at Ground Zero.

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Publishers Weekly

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she uses “Above the fruited plain” (paired with the opening of the Gettysburg Address) to imagine a quilting bee where Americans of all ages and backgrounds stitch together patches celebrating the nation’s greatest hits (the Statue of Liberty, the St. Louis arch, the space shuttle), a smart...

Nov 12 2012 | Read Full Review of America the Beautiful

The New York Times

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And since few grown-ups (myself included) know any but the first verse, it's nice to learn that even in 1895 there were admonitions to ''mend thine every flaw'' and to ''confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.'' Ted Chapin, the president of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organizati...

Nov 14 2004 | Read Full Review of America the Beautiful

The New York Times

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(For a better setting of ''beautiful,'' think of the opening song of ''Oklahoma!,'' which also begins with the word ''oh.'' That melody swings up and down with equal weight until it lands on the first syllable of the word ''morning'' -- and on a ''blue'' or unexpected note, no less -- emphasizing...

Nov 14 2004 | Read Full Review of America the Beautiful

Publishers Weekly

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Bring Back the Deer ) writes that his own travels west instilled in him an awe of ``beauty beyond the realm of imagination.'' Using Bates's verse as his text, Waldman paints scene after scene, matching every phrase to a specific locale (these are identified in a well-designed key at the end).

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Publishers Weekly

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Pairing Katharine Lee Bates's famous 1895 poem with majestic watercolor panoramas, Wendell Minor creates a breathtaking visual journey to some of the country's diverse landscapes and monuments in America the Beautiful.

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Publishers Weekly

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In his first picture book, Gall offers an innovative interpretation of this classic paean to our blossoming country, penned in 1893 by his great-great-great-aunt. Finding his own inspiration in thi

Apr 19 2004 | Read Full Review of America the Beautiful

Common Sense Media

This illustrated version gives not only all four verses, but also strong images of American life that will help make sense of the song.

Apr 17 2004 | Read Full Review of America the Beautiful

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