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Paul Revere's Ride

by Henry Longfellow

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"Listen, my children, and you shall hear/Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere ..." So begins one of the most stirring poems in American literature. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote "Paul Revere's Ride" in 1861, nearly 100 years after the actual midnight ride that began on April 18, in 1775. The poem creates a suspenseful story as American colonist Paul Revere decides with his friend Robert Newman and others to avert a British attack on Concord, Massachusetts. The British had come from Boston in search of the colonists' arms supply. What Revere and his friends didn't know was whether the Redcoats would come by land (around the mouth of the Charles River) or by sea (across the river). Newman spotted the British "by sea" and signaled from the Old North Church tower to Revere, who was "Ready to ride and spread the alarm/Through every Middlesex village and farm,/For the country folk to be up and to arm." And, by morning, the country folk were ready, indeed. "Chasing the red-coats down the lane,/Then crossing the fields to emerge again/Under the trees at the turn of the road,/And only pausing to fire and load." This battle, the first of the American Revolution, drove the British back to Boston.

Ted Rand--well-loved illustrator of The Hullabaloo ABC, Mailing May, Knots on a Counting Rope, and many other critically acclaimed titles--masters the mood and movement of the famous midnight ride, and children will love the power and drama of this historic American event. (Great read-aloud, ages 4 to 8)

From Publishers Weekly
Longfellow's well-known poem never appeared to better advantage: Rand has created a rich rendition of the Revolutionary landscape. And Revere himself is the perfect patriot, rugged and intense as he saddles up, "Ready to ride and spread the alarm / Through every Middlesex village and farm." As Revere rides, the urgency of the pictures inspires the reader to flip the pages at an increasing pace until the dramatic confrontation of the Redcoats and the farmers. If there is any complaint here, it is with Longfellow himself, for rearranging the facts to exclude mention of Revere's fellow riders, Dawes and Prescott. Nevertheless, this is a gem of a lesson about one glorious morning in America's history. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
Grade 3 Up-- Rand is a master of atmosphere and moonlight , and he brings all his skill to the illustration of this narrative poem. There are a number of nice features for those who choose this for its historic interest. The endpapers include a map, not only of Paul Revere's route but also those taken by fellow patriots, Dawes and Prescott. The buildings of Boston and the various farms and villages on the route are shown in clear and accurate detail, and the interior view of Robert Newman climbing a ladder to the belfry window, surrounded by flying pigeons, gives a vivid picture of the size of the building and the dangers of his contribution to the event. Although Revere has been drawn from portraits and represents an identifiable person, the other figures are more generic; the British soldiers are almost like toy figures in their similarities. For this reason the most successful pages are those showing the hushed landscape in contrast with the various solitary figures and their obvious urgency. The moon highlights everything in pale and tawny gold against the deep blues of water, sky, and tree shadow and follows the rider all the way to Concord where it gives way to a pink dawn sky. The richly colored, romantic watercolors duplicate Longfellow's imagery, often quite literally, and effectively reinforce the narrative quality of the poem. Rand's almost filmic interpretation differs from earlier, more graphic versions illustrated by Paul Galdone (Crowell, 1963; o.p.), Joseph Low (Windmill, 1973; o.p.), and Nancy Winslow Parker (Greenwillow, 1985). --Eleanor K. MacDonald, Beverly Hills Pub . Lib .
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Card catalog description
The famous narrative poem recreating Paul Revere's midnight ride in 1775 to warn the people of the Boston countryside that the British were coming.



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