Her Right Foot: A Book Review

Her Right Foot: A Book Review

Author Dave Eggers writes as if he is sitting on my couch talking to me about something important.  He needs to tell me about the Statue of Liberty.  And I am listening.  I love how he explains her origin before even diving into her purpose.  He talks about how the Statue of Liberty was conceived, built, assembled, disassembled, shipped, and reassembled in New York Harbor.  Then he describes her in great detail, from top to bottom, ending on her right foot.  The Statue of Liberty moving!  And all this history and detail comes to the point that this symbol of liberty is going somewhere, freed from bondage, but where?  How can she stand still when there is so much work to be done for liberty? It all intertwines into this wonderful thought: That the Statue of Liberty is an immigrant herself, so she is moving to continually welcome “the poor, the tired, the struggling to breathe free…She must meet them in the sea.”

Although this book is marketed as children’s literature, it is a book for all, and an important one at that. Eggers’ conversational style of writing makes it exceedingly approachable and his beliefs all the more poignant and memorable in the end.  The artwork by Shawn Harris also contributes to the book’s stunning success as his playful collages make every page inviting and fun.  The shapes and lines he crafts with paper and paint create movement and are as much a part of the storytelling as the words themselves.  As you read this book, you will realize the magnitude of what Eggers and Harris are conveying in their message:  America was and still is built on immigration, and the values of acceptance that Lady Liberty symbolized back in the 19th century should still make up the foundation of our principles in the modern era.  I, for one, am inspired by the Statue of Liberty and the action of Her Right Foot.

Click this link if you would like to see some animation illustrations from the book

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