Book review of Her Right Foot

Book Review #2

 

Title:  Her Right Foot

Publisher: Chronicle Books 2017

Author: Dave Eggers

Illustrator: Shawn Harris

Word count: 1538

Grades 4-6

Picture Book

At 1538 words, Her Right Foot has a very high word count. Publishers are amendable to high word count for biographies. For a non-fiction picture book, not so much. But the book doesn’t seem that long, because the words are spread out in 108 pages. Picture books usually are  between 30 and 48 pages.

 

This book is about the Statue of Liberty, particularly her right foot which is not in a static position. It seems to be about to take a step, to move forward. What an unusual take in writing about the iconic landmark.

The author addresses the reader in a breezy style, as if he were having a conversation with the reader. I can imagine the reader answering his questions on whether he or she knows this fact and that fact. He gives a good history of the making of the statue that you find in other books. But I didn’t know some interesting tidbits, such as Thomas Edison once proposed to have a giant record player inside the statue. He wanted the statue to speak.  I am glad this idea was not pursued.

The author finally gets to the right foot on page 45! You don’t notice because of the writer’s breezy style. He calls the statue “a woman on the go”, with broken chains around her feet. Frankly, I was not aware of the chains.

The author’s theory is that Liberty and Freedom, represented by the statue cannot stand still. It cannot rest, it continues to welcome refugees, from Poland, for Cambodia, from Estonians, Syrians etc. She must meet them at the sea.

I enjoy the book and find the flat, simple style of the illustrator meets the spirit of the text.

I recommend it highly.

 

 

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