Lady Liberty's Holiday
written by Jen Arena
illustrated by Matt Hunt
Knopf, 2015. Picture Book.
On a hot summer morning, the Statue of Liberty has a startling realization: that she, the beacon of America, has never left New York Harbor! Thinking of all the country she hasn't seen leads Lady Liberty to sneak away from her pedestal and take a vacation. She travels across the nation, seeing natural beauty and incredible landmarks, but New Yorkers begin to worry that she won't return in time for the Fourth of July.
This book is a perfect gateway for young folks to learn about some of our nation's greatest sights, with beautiful chalky illustrations that amplify the landscape's power. Lady Liberty's story even has some quiet moments where she contemplates the rut she's been in and begins to embrace a quieter, anonymous life -- but her vacation ends with an explosive fireworks finale on the Fourth of July. As much as Lady Liberty loves her summer vacation, she accepts her responsibility and returns to work, an inevitability we all know too well.