November 21, 2017

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Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers | SLJ Review

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redstarEGGERS, Dave. Her Right Foot. illus. by Shawn Harris. 104p. Chronicle. Sept. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781452162812.

Gr 3 Up –This beautifully designed and conversational yet sophisticated book about the history of the iconic statue is also filled with humor and interesting trivia. Explanations of the construction, size, and eventual color of the statue are explained and illustrated in simple, accessible terms. While the first two-thirds of the book offer information about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the green giant, the final portion is a more editorialized, poetic discussion of the back of her right foot. “She is going somewhere! She is on the move!…she weighs 450,000 pounds, and she is moving…where is she going?” Apparently not to “Soho to get a panini” nor “to the West Village to look for vintage Nico records.” No, this welcoming lady has loftier goals. Though she has already greeted thousands of Poles, Norwegians, Cambodians, Estonians, Somalis, Syrians, and others, “It never ends. It cannot end. And this is why she’s moving. This is why she’s striding. In welcoming the poor, the tired, the struggling to be free. She is not content to wait. She must meet them in the sea.” Harris’s vibrant impressionistic illustrations, rendered in construction paper collage and india ink, offer thought-provoking, varied perspectives on both the statue and the text. The unpaged tribute is far longer than the usual picture book length of 32 pages, but never wordy. VERDICT A unique and important contribution to be enjoyed by both children and adults; a must-purchase.–Barbara Auerbach, formerly at New York City Public Schools

This review was published in the School Library Journal September 2017 issue.

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