Paul Revere's Ride

The Landlord's Tale
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Charlies Santore
688 165 524
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
40 pages
Grade / Age level: 
Resource Type: 

Longfellow’s famous poem, Paul Revere’s Ride, is beautifully illustrated in this picture book by Charles Santore. Every page captures both the historical setting and the patriotic significance of a pivotal event in the American Revolution.

Illustrations are dark-toned and shadowy, just right for the middle-of-the-night setting. The suspense builds with extreme close-ups that spill over the edges, and bird’s-eye views sweeping over the nighttime landscape.

The attention to detail in clothing, muskets, powder horns, and ships, appears to be well-researched and faithful to the historical period. The single battle scene with two fallen soldiers hints at the terrible losses of war, but there is no depiction of bloodshed or injury.

The title of this book comes from Mr. Santore’s research. He discovered that Paul Revere’s Ride was just one of several Longfellow poems in a collection called Tales of the Wayside Inn. As Longfellow has it, the landlord of the inn tells the epic poem -- “Listen my children and you shall hear” -- to inn guests gathered around the fireside.

This and more is explained by Mr. Santore in an “Artist’s Note” on the last page. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the historical research that's needed to create outstanding illustrations such as these.

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