The 32nd president faced many challenges, including enduring and overcoming a difficult illness and helping to cure an economic sickness of the nation.
Spanning her subject’s childhood through his first term as president, Jurmain takes a close look at an indomitable Franklin D. Roosevelt. Young FDR very much admired his older cousin Ted (who just happened to be president). At one point, Franklin grew a distinctive Ted-like mustache and profusely used the term “DEE-lighted.” But he also worked very hard to climb the political ladder. Suddenly, his privileged life took a turn when his legs became paralyzed from polio. Jurmain describes the fierce determination of a man who believed, “Above all, TRY SOMETHING.” Despite disability—perhaps spurred on by such hardship—he became governor of New York, and soon thereafter, when the country itself became paralyzed from the Great Depression, he became president. Feisty text sprinkled with amusing anecdotes enlivens this tale of serious events. Day meets Jurmain with lively pencil, watercolor, and gouache illustrations that take advantage of opportunities for lightness (a picture of Franklin in the bath will give readers cause to snicker) while sounding appropriately somber notes when called for.
A solid, immensely readable introduction to a complex man, in a complex time of history. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)