“There is admiration in their pants crease. Duty in their hems. Discipline in their learning. Respect in their hat brims. Fidelity in their gloves. Appreciation in their step.”
With every step, the Tomb Guards pay homage to America’s fallen. Discover their story, and that of the unknown soldiers they honor, through resonant words and illustrations in the new picture book “Twenty-One Steps.” A perfect introduction for young readers to a significant part of United States history, “Twenty-One Steps“ is a lyrical education about and commendation of the exceptional men and women who proudly protect the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, an important symbol of U.S. freedom.
Keeping vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery, are the sentinel guards, whose every step, every turn, honors and remembers America’s fallen. They protect fellow soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, making sure they are never alone. To stand there—with absolute precision, in every type of weather, at every moment of the day, one in a line uninterrupted since midnight July 2, 1937—is the ultimate privilege and the most difficult post to earn in the army. Everything these men and women do is in service to the Unknowns. Their standard is perfection.
Exactly how the unnamed men came to be entombed at Arlington, and exactly how their fellow soldiers have come to keep vigil over them, is a sobering and powerful tale, told by Jeff Gottesfeld and luminously illustrated by Matt Tavares in “Twenty-One Steps” — a tale that honors the soldiers who honor the fallen.
Praise for “Twenty-One Steps”:
“Brings the mystique of the role the sentinels have at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to a child’s level, helping them understand the meaning of service and sacrifice to others.” —Gavin McIlvenna, president of the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
“Patriotic and deeply moving, this picture book will be hard for parents to read aloud without tears—but that is no reason not to try.” —The Wall Street Journal
“The fallen who have died nameless deserve the very best. This is it.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Published by Candlewick Press
$17.99; Ages 7–10
Available now wherever books are sold.