Just in time for Independence Day, Doubleday Books for Young Readers (Random House Kids) has released two new titles by Caldecott Medalist, Peter Spier. He has taken the words of two of our nation’s greatest symbols, the Constitution and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and created two sprightly illustrated, perusable picture books,
We the People: The Constitution of the United States and The Star-Spangled Banner.
In We the People, it is the preamble to the Constitution that creates the story. Short phrases (“We the people of the United States”) appear on each double-spread page, accompanied by many small pen and watercolor vignettes relating to the phrase. On many pages, such as “promote the general Welfare,” the small paintings contrast our past and future. One set of images shows a man with a three-cornered hat delivering the post on horseback. The facing image is that of a U.S. mail truck stopping at a line of rural mailboxes. We the People has a copy of the original document as its endpapers, and contains a brief history of the Constitution and its entire text in the back matter. Names and images of the Constitution’s signers are also featured.