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America the Beautiful (2004)

by Katharine Lee Bates

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,143314,290 (4.04)6
An illustrated edition of the nineteenth-century poem, later set to music, celebrating the beauty of America.

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This book illustrates the song "America The Beautiful", and it does an awesome job of showcasing national landmarks (manmade and natural). I would love to use this in my classroom by pairing it with a lesson over important national landmarks. ( )
  danimeineke | Nov 4, 2016 |
The picture book, “America the Beautiful”, is a wonderful take on the classic poetic song. The first reason why I liked this book was that at the beginning of the book, the book opened with the song and notes. This shows the reader the musical notes that correlate to the song and which keys are to be played at the specific time. The next reason why I enjoyed reading this book was because of the illustrations. The illustrations were absolutely beautiful. The illustrations are painted famous landmarks in America. The illustrator painted many places such as Mount Rushmore, Red Wood trees, and the Grand Canyon. My favorite illustration was the picture of a waterfall. The illustrator used fine detail, small dots, and an array of colors such as purple, green, pink, and white in order to make the waterfall look as realistic as possible. The main idea of this book was to display beautiful illustrated pictures to go along with the song, “America the Beautiful”. ( )
  vharsh1 | Dec 4, 2014 |
America the Beautiful, illustrated by Chris Gall.

Acting on the recommendation of a friend, I recently requested the picture-book presentation of this lovely American song, with accompanying artwork by Wendell Minor, from my local library, only to receive this edition with illustrations by Chris Gall instead. I'm glad the mishap occurred - although I will still be tracking down a copy of the Wendell Minor version - as this is really a lovely book, and a wonderful tribute to one of America's most well-known patriotic songs. Composed as a poem in 1893, and published two years later in the pages of The Congregationalist, a Boston-based church periodical, America the Beautiful is a celebration of the natural beauty of our nation, and of the moral beauty of its history of immigration and struggle for freedom. The words of the song - O beautiful for spacious skies, / For amber waves of grain, / For purple mountains majesties / Above the fruited plain!" - provided the text, and are paired with gorgeous hand engravings that have been digitized and presented in color.

I found it very interesting that the artist here, Chris Gall, was the great-great-grandnephew of poet Katharine Lee Bates, who composed these words, and that he grew up in a home with a heirloom copy of the poem, in Bates' own handwriting, framed on the wall. That hand-written copy provides the inspiration for the decorative endpapers here, while the color engravings, which are really just beautiful, capture the spirit of each verse (or piece of verse) in the piece. I appreciated many of the artistic choices that Gall made, and the diverse peoples and time periods - the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Tuskegee Airmen, the steamship immigrants of the later 19th and early 20th centuries, the firemen who raised the flag in the rubble after 9/11 - he included in his work. I grew up singing this song, and it was a pleasure to be reminded of it. Now I'll have to see how Wendell Minor's visual interpretation of these words matches up! ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bates, Katharine Leeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gall, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my dear friends and classmates from Aurora West High, class of 1962.
You are the sould of the Heartland and the Spirit of America -W.M.
First words
O beautiful for spacious skies,
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An illustrated edition of the nineteenth-century poem, later set to music, celebrating the beauty of America.

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