MONUMENT MAKER : Daniel Chester French and the Lincoln Memorial is a nonfiction picture book about connections. As the first spread says, “history shapes our lives. And what we do with our lives can shape history.”
Daniel was a boy during the Civil War, but his brother Will joined the war effort.
When Abraham Lincoln was shot Dan and his classmates wore black bands on their sleeves in his honor.
Although Dan came from a family of lawyers, sculpting was his contribution to history.
The author, Linda Booth Sweeney's connection to Dan was showing an artist who persevered to become a master of his craft and honoring his celebration of Abraham Lincoln. Her planning this book using illustrations was central to her process.
“Where possible, I imagined each spread as a scene. Page turns were the signal to the reader one scene was ending and another was about to begin,” she said.
Teachers might consider using the illustrations for writing assignments. Put yourself in Dan’s shoes. What would you have done if you had been Dan?
And if you're a student whose family planned to visit the Lincoln Memorial this summer but might not, read Linda's book instead!