My America, The Beautiful
In this celebration of what ties America together, My Beautiful America pairs the lyrics of Katharine Lee Bates’s “America the Beautiful” with fun, modern illustrations to make a must-have for little patriots! A fuzzy touch-and-feel finger trail weaves throughout the illustrations of soldiers, farmers, and cities to remind children and grownups of the thread that ties us all together. A stunning, heartfelt presentation for all patriotic families—from sea to shining sea!
About Katharine Lee Bates
Bates was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, the daughter of Congregational pastor William Bates and his wife, Cornelia Frances Lee. She graduated from Needham High School in 1872, from Newton High School in 1875, and from Wellesley College with a B.A. in 1880. She taught at Natick High School during 1880–81 and at Dana Hall School from 1885 until 1889. She returned to Wellesley as an instructor, then an associate professor 1891–93 when she was awarded an M.A. and became full professor of English literature. She studied at Oxford University during 1890–91. While teaching at Wellesley, she was elected a member of the newly formed Pi Gamma Mu honor society for the social sciences because of her interest in history and politics.
Bates was a prolific author of many volumes of poetry, travel books, and children's books. She popularized Mrs. Claus in her poem Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride from the collection Sunshine and other Verses for Children (1889).
She contributed regularly to periodicals, sometimes under the pseudonym James Lincoln, including Atlantic Monthly, The Congregationalist, Boston Evening Transcript, Christian Century, Contemporary Verse, Lippincott's and Delineator.
A lifelong, active Republican, Bates broke with the party to endorse Democratic presidential candidate John W. Davis in 1924 because of Republican opposition to American participation in the League of Nations. She said: "Though born and bred in the Republican camp, I cannot bear their betrayal of Mr. Wilson and their rejection of the League of Nations, our one hope of peace on earth."
Bates never married. In 1910, when a colleague described "free-flying spinsters" as "fringe on the garment of life", Bates answered: "I always thought the fringe had the best of it. I don't think I mind not being woven in."
Bates died in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on September 28, 1929, and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery at Falmouth.
About Katie Melrose
Katie Melrose is an Orange County–based illustrator and designer. She started drawing the moment she could hold a pencil and ended her education at California State University of Fullerton with a BFA in illustration and an emphasis in graphic design. On top of her illustration work, she co-owns a quirky pin and greeting card business. When she does have free time, you can usually find her messing around on her 35mm camera, weaving at her loom, or backpacking across her home state, California.