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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Info's Good, Presentation Needs Some Work

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

How much do you know about America's battle for independence from Great Britain?  If you need a quick refresher course, you may want to check out Liberty Lee's Tail of Independence, a new picture book by Peter and Cheryl Barnes, a husband and wife team from Virginia.  Told through the eyes of a mouse named Liberty Lee, the book talks about America's settlement by English pilgrims, the colonists' disagreements with their homeland, the writing and acceptance of the Declaration of Independence, the great battles of the Revolutionary War, and the hard-won freedom we now enjoy.  Appropriately, it also discusses how the Fourth of July became an official national holiday.

As much as I appreciated the information presented in the book as well as the authors' intention to teach a valuable history lesson to children, I wasn't all that impressed with the quality of this one.  The rhymes seem clumsy, the editing needs work and the illustrations are a little rough.  The book provides important facts, I'm just not sure they're presented in a way that's going to be appealing to kids.  

Overall, I think Liberty Lee's Tail of Independence is cute and informative.  However, it needs a lot of polish.  Without it, I just don't see children reaching for this kind of book—not when there are much more engaging stories out there.  I'm hoping the series (there are several more Mouse books coming out this year) will improve with time since I really do think it gives kids valuable information.  Here's hoping ... 

(Readalikes:  Um, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:  C

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  G

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Liberty Lee's Tail of Independence from the generous authors via the folks at TLC Book Tours.  Thank you! 


  1. I always feel bad saying a book needs more polish but unfortunately there are a lot that need it.

  2. I do hope that kids enjoy this one - I loved educational books like this when I was young.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.


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