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A PICTURE BOOK OF DOLLEY AND JAMES MADISON by David A. Adler

A PICTURE BOOK OF DOLLEY AND JAMES MADISON

By David A. Adler (Author) , Michael S. Adler (Author) , Ronald Himler (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2009-4
Publisher: Holiday House

America’s “most underrated President” and his “Queen Dolley” receive star treatment in this latest entry in Adler’s Picture Book Biography series. Two double-page spreads introduce Dolley Madison’s heroic retrieval of White House valuables during the War of 1812. After this dramatic opening, the action turns to a young James Madison and his education. The couple’s youths are described equally, as well as the courtship between this widowed mother and the short, balding politician. The crucial events regarding Madison’s presidency, including the War of 1812 and its flawed Embargo Act, are clearly conveyed, historical complexities intact. Of the resulting 1814 peace treaty, the narrative duly notes that it “didn’t address the issues that started the war, but at least it ended it.” Himler’s soft watercolors and wispy lines suit the historical setting and balance the substantial text. Concluding with Dolley’s passing, the final illustration displays their imposing Montpelier home, a commanding reference to the family’s influence. An impressive list of source notes and recommended resources provide background support for young readers and researchers alike. (timeline, notes, bibliography, recommended websites) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)