Kirkus Reviews QR Code
TEEDIE by Don Brown


The Story of Young Teddy Roosevelt

by Don Brown and illustrated by Don Brown

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: April 20th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-618-17999-2

The author/illustrator of many celebrated picture-book biographies (Dolley Madison Saves George Washington, 2007, etc.) turns his attention to the frail, timid boy who became our athletic youngest president. Young Teedie was thin and undersized, and “the Roosevelts’ wealth couldn’t protect him from asthma.” Teedie’s parents encouraged him to “make his body” as well as his mind; by the time he reached adulthood he was broad-shouldered and strong. The author gracefully touches upon the adult Roosevelt’s successes, including the highlights of his presidency, but focuses most on the strengths Teedie had from the beginning—a good mind and “boundless curiosity”—choosing kid-pleasing details and allowing his protagonist to speak directly through well-chosen and age-appropriate quotes from Roosevelt’s writings. Brown’s characteristically vigorous scrawls capture both the scrawny boy and the bulldog of a man, infusing his vignettes with a sizable helping of wit. All in all, this is a spot-on introductory book for lower grades. (author’s note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)