THE EXTRAORDINARY MARK TWAIN by Barbara Kerley
Kirkus Star

THE EXTRAORDINARY MARK TWAIN

(According to Susy)
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

From 1885 to ’86, Mark Twain’s 13-year-old daughter Susy Clemens wrote a 130-page biography of her father out of indignation: Her dear Papa was no mere humorist! This large-format picture book from the creators of What to Do About Alice? (2008) contains numerous excerpts from Susy’s sprightly biography/journal, presented throughout as mini-spreads, spelling errors intact. (Twain described his daughter’s spelling as “frequently desperate.”) Kerley’s conversational, quotation-rich narration effectively complements Susy’s insights, and the result is an affectionate portrait of Twain as writer and family man. Twain aficionados will be especially captivated by its fullness, as he’s not revealed as the author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn until mid-book. Fotheringham’s dynamically composed, digitally created full-bleed illustrations, both inventive and appealing, effectively recall the 19th-century setting, and big, swirling lines reflect the flourishes of an ink pen. A favorite spread shows the grand Connecticut house as a cross-section, with Twain going about his routine in every room, even taking a bath! A heartwarming tribute to both the writing life in general and the well-loved humorist—oops, sorry Susy… “Pholosopher!” (author’s note, how to write a biography, time line, sources) (Picture book/biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-12508-6
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2009




2010 BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS: ALL PICTURE BOOKS:

Children ARROZ CON LECHE / RICE PUDDING by Jorge Argueta
by Jorge Argueta
Children MIRROR by Jeannie Baker
by Jeannie Baker
Children LMNO PEAS by Keith Baker
by Keith Baker
Children SHARK VS. TRAIN by Chris Barton
by Chris Barton

MORE BY BARBARA KERLEY

ChildrenA HOME FOR MR. EMERSON by Barbara Kerley
by Barbara Kerley
ChildrenTHE WORLD IS WAITING FOR YOU by Barbara Kerley
by Barbara Kerley
ChildrenTHOSE REBELS, JOHN AND TOM by Barbara Kerley
by Barbara Kerley

MORE BY EDWIN FOTHERINGHAM

ChildrenBUDDY TROUBLE by Pam Muñoz Ryan
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
ChildrenA HOME FOR MR. EMERSON by Barbara Kerley
by Barbara Kerley
ChildrenTONY BALONEY by Pam Muñoz Ryan
by Pam Muñoz Ryan

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE TROUBLE BEGINS AT 8 by Sid Fleischman
by Sid Fleischman
ChildrenSO YOU WANT TO BE PRESIDENT? by Judith St. George
by Judith St. George