When you add up the formal clothing, stiff language, and beribboned ponytails we see in portrayals of our founding fathers, it's easy to perceive them as a little...soft. But if we take a look at what was really happening back then and what these patriots did, we're reminded that they were true Revolutionaries. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow memorialized one of these moments of bravery in The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, in 1860. And now, Christoper Bing brings that famous historical poem to life with a richly layered and beautifully engraved picture book.
This is the kind of book that deserves to be pored over. Full of painstaking detail, you'll find maps, letters, and objects strategically dispersed throughout the illustrations. The dark, glowing nighttime scenes capture the mood perfectly and help you imagine what it must have been like to ride through New England farms and villages in 1775, rousing fellow countrymen to prepare for battle. Secret signals, intercepted intelligence, and one brave man on horseback—"The fate of a nation was riding that night...." It has all the makings of a great adventure, one of the many that secured our country's independence.
If you're new to Christopher Bing's work, you might also want to check out his Caldecott Honor Book, Casey at the Bat—another perfect choice for America week!