Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Book Review: What To Do About Alice?

Barbara Kerley takes on a spirited, uncontrollable historical figure for her latest picture book biography What To Do About Alice? Alice Roosevelt was the eldest child of President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, who said, famously, of his daughter, "I can be president of the United States or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both."

Kerley focuses on Alice's childhood, youth, and early adulthood--when she tore up the household, refused to go to boarding school (homeschooling herself instead), traveled the world on behalf of her father, and eventually married a congressman. Kerley keeps the tone light and energetic, mirroring her subject: "From the time she was a little girl, Alice ate up the world....Father remarried and had more children. But every morning Alice still cried, 'Now Pig!' until Father gave her a piggyback ride downstairs to breakfast."

Edwin Fotheringham's illustrations are exuberant and colorful. His Teddy Roosevelt--grumpy moustache and all--is the perfect foil to Alice's spirited adventures as he scowls from the edges of many a page.

What to Do About Alice? How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove her Father Teddy Crazy! is perfect for grade school readers. Spirited children--the ones who drive parents crazy everywhere--have met their match.
Other Blog Reviews:

Wild Rose Reader
The Excelsior File
Becky's Book Reviews
Barbara Kerley also has teaching and homeschooling materials available at her site. Check 'em out!