Praise for You're On Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt:
"The book provides a salient introduction to the boy who would become a colorful president. A final note sketches Roosevelt's adult years. A solid choice for independent readers or for sharing aloud with children."
—School Library Journal
"Faulkner captures Teedy's boundless energy and determination in detail-rich scenes... This makes a rousing tale of obstacles overcome."
St. George's (So You Want to Be President?) anecdotal account of Roosevelt's early years launches the Turning Point Book series, spotlighting a pivotal event in the life of a future president. The author explains that as a child (nicknamed "Teedie") the "pale and puny" Roosevelt suffered from asthma and other ailments. In hopes of improving his health, his parents take the family to the country, where Teedie becomes a lifelong nature lover. The boy begins filling his New York City bedroom with living and dead animals, creating a "museum." When Teedie's father tells him that he has "the mind, but not the body," the lad begins working out with weights and later takes up boxing. He goes on to win 14 out of 15 events at a family field day, in the somewhat anticlimactic conclusion, proving that "by his own strong will, Teedie had at last won the battle for his body." Featuring an earth-toned palette, Faulkner's gouache artwork keeps the mood light. A standout spread spotlights Teedie's impeccably dressed Southern belle mom amidst the roguish body-builders at the gym. The conversational narrative includes some odd details (e.g., when the boy was 10, "Papa even gave Teedie coffee to drink and cigars to smoke to help his breathing"), but readers who identify with the young hero's underdog beginnings may well be inspired by his rise to strength and stature. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
This book is the first in a series of what will most assuredly be treasured storybooks covering turning points in the younger lives of presidents. Readers may wonder, "why is the book referring to the main character as Teedie instead of Teddy?" The answer is that Teedie and his father shared the same first name, but not much else in the way of physical appearances! When readers are introduced to young Teedie, he is a sickly seven year old boy who has asthma, stomach aches and headaches along with frightening nightmares (that often times include a werewolf sitting at the end of his bed), very unlike his strong, healthy father. Teedie's parents spent the majority of his childhood traveling around trying to find an environment that would be conducive to poor Teedie's health. He and his siblings had fabulous times on these globe trotting journeys; Teedie loved animals and the outdoors and even initiated a natural science museum! What brought things together for Teedie was when his father told him that he had the mind (he was an extremely avid reader) but not the body, and it while it was hard drudgery to make one's body, that's what they had to do. Subsequently, he joined a gym and diligently worked at strengthening his body. Visually relevant muted watercolor illustrations set the time and place. This book teaches a wonderful lesson about strengths and weaknesses (mental and physical), courage and perseverance. It would be just as compelling used in a history lesson as in a counselor's lesson. The author is a Caldecott Medal winner and has written over forty children's books. This book is part of the "Turning Point Book" series. Recommended. 2004, Philomel Books/Penguin Young Readers Group,Ages 8 to 12.
Cindy L. Carolan
K-Gr 4-In this new series of picture-book biographies, St. George explores the childhood years of presidents, posing the question: "Was there a turning point in their young lives that caused them to change direction and set them on a path that led them to the White House?" Teddy's, readers learn, was the boxing lessons that capped years of sickly health, family journeys to distant climes, and rigorous gym workouts. "By his own strong will, Teedie had at last won the battle for his body." Selected episodes, always emphasizing his enduring asthma problems and fascination with animals, are set in six chapters against double-page gouache paintings. A wooden beginning gives way to some good humor, as "Teedie" assembles his own home wildlife museum. The illustrations create a strong sense of time and place and are peopled by rather comic folk. From middle childhood to late teens, Roosevelt always looks the same, with a large adolescent head atop his thin, energetic body. The moral-persistence overcomes physical weakness-is ever present and relevant to youngsters. The book provides a salient introduction to the boy who would become a colorful president. A final note sketches Roosevelt's adult years. A solid choice for independent readers or for sharing aloud with children.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The author of So You Want to Be President? (2000) opens a series of closer looks at turning points in the lives of future Chief Executives with this lively and handsomely designed account of Teddy-or "Teedy," as he was then known-Roosevelt's youth. She finds several watershed moments for puny, unathletic Teedy, from his discovery of the Great Outdoors, to a commitment to exercise inspired by this father's observation that "you must make your body," and an encounter with bullies that impelled him to take up boxing. She also highlights his love of natural history, introduces his parents and siblings, and chronicles the Roosevelt clan's travels to Europe and Egypt. Faulkner captures Teedy's boundless energy and determination in detail-rich scenes of the lad with his close, plainly well-to-do family, surrounded by his collections of animal specimens, and demonstrating his hard-won athletic prowess to a crowd of admiring relatives. Closing with a quick look at Roosevelt's presidency and after, this makes a rousing tale of obstacles overcome. (afterword, bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)