U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt certainly dared mighty things, and this lavish picture-book biography deftly captures the legendary man’s bold, exuberant nature.
Young “Teedie” Roosevelt wanted to be fearless like Daniel Boone and the Valley Forge soldiers he read about, but he was a sickly child. A dramatic full-bleed spread shows the quilt-wrapped Teedie reading in a big chair, visions of polar bears and eagles dancing in his head—an apt reflection of the boy who would go on to keep a giant tortoise in his room at Harvard and then to help protect America’s wildlife. Roosevelt’s private joys and sorrows as well as professional highlights from his Rough Rider days in Cuba to his 1906 Nobel Peace Prize are chronicled here in colorful, accessible prose, punctuated by character-illuminating quotations. This is a portrait of a passionate man who wanted to make a difference and did, as police commissioner or author, cattle rancher or U.S. president. Payne’s expressive, muted paintings—quite grand when showcasing America’s majestic landscapes—are full of warmth and humor befitting the joyful man who declared “No man has had a happier life than I have led; a happier life in every way.”
A truly inspiring tribute to a seemingly larger-than-life U.S. president. (timeline, selected research sources, bibliography, websites, acknowledgments) (Picture book/biography. 7-12)