A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book avoids heavy-handed lecturing. The lively dialogue style -- asking readers direct questions -- and evocative illustrations will keep children turning the pages.
What's the story?
Listen my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere--and a lot more! A silversmith at fifteen, he became a furniture maker, a dentist, a portrait engraver, and, of course, a legendary Revolutionary War messenger. Jean Fritz tells his story well, although background information on the purpose and significance of his rides is lacking.
Is it any good?
Jean Fritz's book makes a great read-aloud text, especially for the classroom. She is at her best when she includes little-known facts that make children and adults chuckle, and kids will ask many questions about America's early history. Margot Tomes' illustrations add humor to the story but are not particularly vibrant. They succeed, however, in enhancing the mood Fritz establishes in her text.
Fritz sometimes assumes readers know more than they probably do. For instance, Fritz describes Revere's mission to Hartford, New York City, and Philadelphia without fully clarifying the purpose: She says simply that he is spreading news. Children may not come away understanding his travels or where the British were and what they did in America. Tomes does, however, include a map illustrating Revere's southward ride.