America the ­Beautiful

Cottage Door. Feb. 2021. 24p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781680529296.
PreS-Gr 2–Dare celebrates the United States by providing interesting tidbits on classic topics, from state birds and symbols, to the more niche, like road trip sites. Melrose’s illustrations echo her majestic images from Katherine Lee Bates’s My America, the Beautiful. Although the variety of topics and number of factoids provided are expansive, this debut picture book doesn’t feel focused. The illustrations for various spreads, with headings like “America the Innovative” and “America the Patriotic,” are beautifully rendered, but some of the topics and tidbits seem to need more literal translation, e.g., photographs, than the illustrations provided. The book does not cover subjects in enough depth for research, and young readers may not be drawn to this title on their own.
VERDICT A patriotic volume more suitable for a home library.

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