Her Right Foot

Shoe size 879? Really? Dave Eggers, writer, and Shawn Harris, illustrator, set an amusing tone to the facts they weave into their words and pictures in Her Right Foot. The book scheduled by Chronicle Books for spring 2018 moved up in the schedule to September 19, 2017 because of the timeliness of this look at the Statue of Liberty, particularly her right foot.

The book, which I read in an advance reading copy from Net Galley, takes turns being inspirational, informational, and humorous. In addition to her shoe size, an example of the humor that laces the book together shows up in the drawing of the men who first assembled the statue in France. They sprawl out on the spikes of her crown as they ponder the absurdity of taking it apart again.

Eggers and Harris give scientific information on the process of oxidation in words and pictures as the statue changes from its original brown to the blue-green patina of today. In a historical tidbit, they tell that Thomas Edison suggested a giant record player inside the statue so it could speak. That was too strange to pursue.

Inspiration comes in pictures and text as they show the welcome given to visitors and immigrants to the United States as the statue waits in the harbor. Even more striking were her broken chains symbolizing freedom from bondage.

Now you may be asking why the emphasis on the right foot. Since I learned a lesson the hard way long ago about giving away the spoiler, I’ll let you find that out for yourself. Eggers and Harris have taken an unusual look at the statue and turned out a book that will make you rush right out and buy one to read to a child. If you don’t have a child in your life, go ahead. You have my permission to buy it for yourself. You won’t be sorry.