Pairing a lyrical narrative with oil paintings that capture landscapes as precisely as portraits, this distinctive volume provides an accessible overview of the life of Theodore Roosevelt from the team behind Will Rogers: An American Legend. Keating assumes the engaging first-person voice of the 26th president, shaping a personal profile that incorporates actual quotations from Roosevelt. The rich, composite portrait that emerges depicts Roosevelt as an inquisitive lover of nature and insatiable reader. From a rather sickly child, he grew into an enthusiastic participant in many family adventures around the world as an adolescent, a prolific writer as a young man and, in subsequent years, an energetic cattle rancher in the Dakota Territory. He was also a devoted and high-spirited father, a decorated soldier and a dedicated public servant who, at 42, became the youngest man ever to ascend to the office of president (at that time). Occasionally, it may be difficult for readers to distinguish which are actual quotes from Roosevelt and which are the author's interpretation (e.g., "I wrote thirty-five books in all, always celebrating `the joy of life and the duty of life' "). But Wimmer's (Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth) artwork remains photographically clear. His remarkably lifelike artwork gives readers the sense of spying on the president in his most intimate moments, at his desk or with his children, and lends additional dimension to the many facets of Roosevelt's personality. Ages 6-9. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Do you remember the faces of the presidents on Mount Rushmore? One of them is Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt and as you read about this man, you can understand why he was given this honor. He was not a strong, healthy, or particularly outgoing child, but his family and his own perseverance helped him strengthen his body and overcome the limitations of diseases such as asthma. His education was not formal but his inquiring mind led him to read voraciously and to study and question everything around him. His family had wealth and that helped because as a young boy, he could be taught at home and could travel the world. Most importantly, his family cared about him, and he was raised in a loving and supportive environment. In addition to entering politics and government service, he led an active and exciting life as a cowboy, hunter, and soldier. He lost his first wife and remarried and had a total of six children--all of whom he adored and spent much time with even while serving as the president of the US. If all that is not enough, he wrote books, oversaw the construction of the Panama Canal, and received the Nobel Peace Prize. This is a president worth studying and emulating. The paintings by Mike Wimmer are wonderful--no static portraits here. There are scenes that show Teddy's imagination, joy de vivre, and close relationship with his parents. They are so realistic that they almost look like photographs. My only quibble, as with most of the books about famous people, is the choice of image on the cover. It is probably one of the least flattering and appealing in the entire book and is not going to make kids run and open the pages--too bad because there is a lot to enjoy and learn andhopefully whet the appetites of those who would like to learn more about this president. 2006, Simon & Schuster, Ages 6 to 9.
Gr 2-6-This handsome, well-researched biography is as dignified as its subject. Using a spare, readable style, the author captures Roosevelt's spirit and determination. Frequent childhood illness and a fascination with animals and the natural world made Roosevelt an avid reader. Nevertheless, he traversed the globe with his family: "By age fifteen-I had hunted jackals on horseback, climbed the Great Pyramid, and peered into a volcano." Beginning with the diary he kept at age 10, he wrote 35 books in his lifetime. He was also a rancher, hunter, soldier, father of six, governor of New York, and the nation's youngest president. Though Keating takes the liberty of narrating the text in the first person, the liberal use of quotations lends authority and authenticity to the account. Readers will note that although the subject suffered from asthma and poor eyesight, he was able to prevail through hard work and integrity. Each page of italicized text is printed on what appears to be aged parchment; it faces one of Wimmer's luminous oil-on-canvas illustrations. The accomplished paintings further reveal the subject and his world-be it reading in his sickbed, examining a nest of baby birds, riding a camel, playing with his children, or giving a speech. Libraries that own Judith St. George's You're on Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt (Philomel, 2004) will still want to purchase Keating's book as it covers more of the man's life and is more eloquent, concise, and attractive.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
An unabashedly reverent paean to the 26th president is light on biographical detail but heavy on inspiration. Wimmer's gorgeously lit, heroic oils are the perfect complement to Keating's narrative, in which TR addresses the reader in a series of declarative statements that sum up his accomplishments, of which the Presidency appears as just one of many: "I worked hard. . . . I was the father of six children. . . . I was a soldier. . . . I was a builder. . . . That was the life I lived." This narrative choice results in TR's quoting himself, a rather odd device that may well confuse some readers unclear on the narrator's state of being: " ‘The best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing,' I believed." "Believed"? Not anymore? An author's note delivers a swiftly conventional biographical sketch but unfortunately neglects to list other titles for interested readers-a shame, given that its aim is so clearly to ignite such an interest. As homage, its success is unquestionable; as biography, its achievement is a little more dubious. (Picture book/biography. 6-9)