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America the Beautiful
Katharine Lee Bates
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America the Beautiful

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Wendell Minor is an extraordinarily talented fine artist who has received over two hundred awards for his work. Authors refer to him as a "quiet genius" who creates with simplicity and elegance, a "master" at capturing the essence of the written word in vivid imagery, of creating brilliant paintings that evoke the true spirit of story and place. He has illustrated hundreds ...more
Published by Little Brown and Company (first published 1895)
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Katherine Lee Bates' classic poem (including the two verses not usually sung) set to the gorgeous illustrations of Wendell Minor. He selects several famous and/or beautiful places in America to represent the various lines of the poem, from Half Dome and Yellowstone Falls to a picturesque mailbox in Connecticut to a farm in Kansas. Just gorgeous! The back matter includes a brief biography about Bates and Samuel A. Ward (who wrote the music), a facsimile of one of Bates' hand written manuscripts, ...more
Lisa Vegan
I’d meant to get a copy of this poem book by a different illustrator. But I’m happy with this edition. I love its story. The illustrator grew up in America and moved to Israel after college. An Israeli friend finally convinced him to take a road trip through America to see the sights. The paintings in this book came from that trip they took together.

I’ve always liked this song, better than our national anthem. The four verses of this poem are shown with their music on the inside covers but only
Philip Carlson
America the Beautiful is a poem written by Katherine Lee Bates after a visit to the Western wonder of Pike's Peak in 1893. In 1895, the poem was submitted for publication, revised in 1904, and eventually paired with a tune written by Samuel Augustus Ward. Since that time, it has become an iconic hymn that defines the character of the United States, and sheds light on the beautiful scenery that lies between its coasts. This book is the visual accompaniment that brings the poem to life and enable ...more
I like the pictures and parts of history the illustrator chose to portray for different lines of this familiar song. I'm looking for patriotic books for preschool storytime--I've never done an America one before. But I may have to pass on this because I'll probably start crying on the 3rd verse. Especially with the inclusion of an illustration for 9/11/01.

7/2/14 I tried this as the opener. It worked well because with some illustrations I had the kids tell me what they saw and asked if they did t
Anita Silvey featured this edition on the 04 July 2011 "Children's Book-a-Day Almanac" blog and her write-up convinced me that I had to see it for myself.

Wow. Each line of the poem has a full-page illustration, and they are all beautifully rendered and well-chosen. The line "Thine alabaster cities gleam/Undimmed by human tears" is set on perhaps the most beautiful painting of the twin columns of light in NYC that I have ever seen. (If I hadn't planned these copies as gifts for kids here and abro
This book includes the lyrics to the song "America the Beautiful." On each page there are a few words from the traditional patriotic song as well as gorgeous illustrations. I can remember as a kid learning this song but I don't ever remember learning about the meaning behind it. Teaching students about some of the words that are in this song would be a great way to introduce new vocabulary.
Beautiful illustrations. It's hard not to sing along with the words to the song. My little ones really wanted to know all about the pictures. It was a very engaging read. I also love how he explains the different illustrations in the back of the book.
Garrett Ellis
Awesome illustrations! Would be great for a patriotism section within a history lesson! Illustrations could be used for history lessons themselves!
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Nice illustrations to accompany lyrics.
Beautifully illustrated!
Lisa Overberg
This would be a great book to pair with a history lesson on the United States. All the illustrations are of places throughout the country and are labeled in the back of the book. There is also a brief history on Katherine Bates and Samuel Augustus Ward. Katherine wrote the poem and Ward wrote the melody that was paired with her poem.

Interest Level: PK-3
Grade Level Equivalent: 2.9
Lexile Measure: Not Available
DRA: Not Available
Guided Reading: Not Available
Poetry. CIP Summary: "An illustrated edition of the nineteenth-century poem. later set to music, celebrating the beauty of America.

This might be a good book to read around Thanksgiving to celebrate our "coming to America." I really liked the illustrations. Basically, this book is an illustrated form of the song. The song and music is in the book. Appropriate for third grade and younger.
This book illustrates the poem/hymn "America the Beautiful." I enjoyed the illustrations except that I did not like to see some of our slave-owning forefathers depicted as heroes (a picture of Mt. Rushmore illustrates "O Beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife, Who more than self their counrty loved, And mercy more that life!).
Beautiful illustrations complement the lyrics from Bates' America the Beautiful. I also appreciated the foreword that told why Waldman decided to create this book. The end includes short notes on each of the locations shown in his paintings.
Gabrielle Mcintire
I love this book!!! It is a great way to present the song America the Beautiful to students because they can correlate text and pictures together. This would be a great book to use in history. The pictures show a lot of wonder and awe.
Rebecca Dean
This book would be good in the classroom while celebrting America. This would also be good to read while having the song play in the background, this way the students will be able to see what they are singing about in the song.
Lisa Nagel
Beautifully illustrated book. A nice way to introduce the history behind "America the Beautiful", and Katherine Lee Bates.
An illustrated edition of the nineteenth-century poem, later set to music, which celebrates the beauty of America.
A must have for the 4th of July season, unbelievable artwork and great lessons contained about history. We love it!
Christine Turner
I like the edition that is illustrated by Chris Gall.

(The cover at includes a lighthouse).

Shalini Noronha
Call Number Copy Material Location
J E BAT 1 Juvenile Book Juvenile Easy Collection
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
The poem of Katharine Bates illustrated by Wendall Minor. Beautiful paintings!
Another beautiful book I always read to my students
Rocco Julian
Shows incredible images and and song lyrics!
We really need to own this one!
Gorgeous illustrations.
Simply beautiful!
Taylor marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
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