Longfellow, H. W., & Bing, C. (ill.) (2001). The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. Brooklyn: Handprint Books. ISBN: 9781929766130
Annotation: In 1775, Paul Revere was tasked with warning the colonial towns of Lexington and Concord of the British troops’ approach, ultimately leading to the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
Reaction: Bing’s adaptation of Longfellow’s poem is delightful. I picked this up for my Picture Books class, but ultimately didn’t use it as there were just TOO MANY other great books, but I kept it because one look at the pictures told me that it was something special. He uses illustrations that look like colored wood carvings/etchings with real items collaged on top, creating texture and dimension. From the Note on the Preparation of This Book, Bing used a “traditional method of glazing the colors” to apply first the yellows, reds and then blues, allowing the nighttime scenes to glow. The colors are beautiful and very vibrant.
This book could be used in 5th and 6th grade units on poetry, providing a historical context. Students can analyze the rhyme and rhythm patterns used by Longfellow, as well discuss the historical context during which Longfellow wrote and examine the artistic licenses he took with the history of Paul Revere’s Ride.
Media Used: From Note on the Preparation of This Book: “The black & white foundation illustrations were created with pen, ink and brush on white or uninked scratchboard, then photocopied onto watercolor paper. Watercolor was then applied over the line images. The finished illustrations were scanned on a flatbed desktop scanner and interposed with images derived from a myriad of sources, including images downloaded over the internet and objects digitally photographed and subsequently manipulated in such programs as Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator.”
Illustrator’s Website: None