Children and adults alike will be drawn to Robert Neubecker's bright and bold illustrations in Wow! America!. The creator of Wow! City!, Neubecker brings to children's books a wealth of experience as an illustrator for such publications as the New York Times and the New Yorker.
Wow! America! has a simple plot, but the art takes center stage here. A girl named Izzy lives on top of the world, and when her little sister Jo runs down the mountain, Izzy follows her all across a map of America. Neubecker is working on a grand, boisterous canvas here, infused with the energy and spirit of the poet Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass. Izzy chases Jo into a New England fishing village, where the girls see a giant lobster close-up. In New York City, it's a giant two-page spread of the Statue of Liberty. The girls visit more of America's wonders, riding with cowboys and cowgirls, descending into the Grand Canyon, and even crossing the Pacific to gaze down from a helicopter on a Hawaiian volcano. With its large print and vibrant, joyful pictures, this is a wonderful introduction to our nation. The maps on the endpapers provide a useful visual context. Deborah Hopkinson's new book for children of all ages is entitled Up Before Daybreak: Cotton and People in America.