Kirkus Reviews QR Code
CAMPING WITH THE PRESIDENT by Ginger Wadsworth

CAMPING WITH THE PRESIDENT

By Ginger Wadsworth (Author) , Karen Dugan (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59078-497-6
Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

In the spring of 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt took a long trip to the far American West and capped his visit with a four-day camping trip through Yosemite with famed naturalist John Muir. Dodging persistent reporters, the men rode through ancient sequoia forests, climbed Glacier Peak and camped at the foot of Bridalveil Fall. As detailed in an author’s note, the trip likely played a significant role in Roosevelt’s later conservation efforts. Wadsworth’s research is sound, her writing spritely and her information interesting, but she reports the story instead of telling it, and she does so in so much detail that the amount of print overwhelms Dugan’s otherwise serviceable watercolors. Half the words would have twice the value; as written, it’s not detailed enough for older readers, who will gravitate toward chapter books, but too much for younger readers and downright daunting as a read-aloud. Some of Roosevelt’s quotes (“I want to drop politics absolutely for four days”) are authentic and sourced; others (“This is bullier yet!”) are “created by the author based upon typical language of Roosevelt”—an unfortunate license. (author’s, biographical notes) (Picture book. 7-10)