Book: This Land Is Your Land

This Land is Your Land
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie, Paintings by Kathy Jakobsen

“Dreams”

Planted in the soil
Implanted in the soul

Embraced across the land
Embossed across the landscape

Unfettered at last
Unfurled anew

Note: Like most people, I grew up singing this song in school. (A little research revealed that the Guthrie penned the song in response to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” – oh how I love the internet.)

So imagine my excitement when I found this picture book. The book/CD combo hits all of the right notes – couldn’t resist. Sweeping panoramas showcase the diversity of the American landscape while detailed illustrations highlight the variety of the American experience – street corner musicians, rodeo cowboys, Mardi Gras revellers, family beachgoers…And the pictures are vibrant enough to capture young listeners and detailed enough to engage older readers.

I will admit that sometimes, it’s hard to get through the entire book without choking up a bit, but I imagine that’s why this song remains such a staple in the American musical cannon.

In these times, it’s a nice reminder –

This land was made for you and me.

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