Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What to do About Alice? How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy by Barbara Kerley

“I can be president of the United States, or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly DO BOTH,” says President Theodore Roosevelt of his daughter Alice. After reading this gorgeous picture book biography I can understand why.

Alice Roosevelt was not the kind of well behave girl you’d suppose a president’s daughter should be. She was more the kind of girl who danced all night, owned a snake named Emily Spinach (named after a rather thin aunt) and joined an all-boys club under her father’s very nose by having the boys dress up like girls whenever they held meetings at her house. Alice was also known to jump into a swimming pool fully clothed and created a group called the Night Riders—but if you want to know what kind of mischief THEY got up too you’ll have to read the book and find out!

The beautiful classic looking pictures are as colorful as Alice herself. (My favorite is the one where Alice lays face down on her bed, her head under a pillow, surrounded by dozens of used handkerchiefs.) I also loved the way the author sprinkles the text with slang from Alice’s time giving the reader a true feel for Alice’s world. This is the first 2008 picture book I’ve seen this year which might actually have a shot at the Caldecott Award.


2112 said...

I agree with booklady when she says this one is a good candidate for the Caldecott Award. This picture book biography portrays Alice as a rambunctious, strong-willed young girl who was loved by all she met.

curlyq said...

Wonderful illustrations paired with a lively, endearing heroine makes for a great picture book. I loved how Alice and her father are portrayed as real people in this story.