(NS)Jennifer Reiner's Reviews > Walt Whitman: Words For America

Walt Whitman by Barbara Kerley
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This is a wonderful picture book for older readers. Walt Whitman was a selfless Civil War nurse. The illustrations are just beautiful. The pages are over-sized with an old-fashioned design. Poetry is incorporated into the pages. Walt hoped to be the voice of America one day. When the war starts, Kerley makes a large painting of soldiers in their uniforms. As the war continues, Kerley shows the relationship between Whitman and his embattled president who he would see on the streets of the capital. Whitman is forced to return home because of his health. He hears the news about the war being over and a few days later about Lincoln's death. Whitman turns to poetry to help himself during this time. He wants to turn toward peace and rebuilding. This is a wonderful picture book for older readers to become exposed to.

This story is just wonderful. I was hooked from the moment I looked at the first illustration in the story. The fourth graders do a unit in my school where they study certain people in history and do a report on it. I know that the teachers struggle to find good picture books for older readers. I am definitely going to recommend this story to them because it was just captivating. Learning about Walt Whitman was just incredible and I loved the poetry that was added to the pages. This is a must read!
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