What to do About Alice by Barbara Kerley, Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham – Review for TWU course

BIBLIOGRAPHY Kerley, Barbara. 2008. WHAT TO DO ABOUT ALICE?  HOW ALICE ROOSEVELT BROKE THE RULES CHARMED THE WORLD AND DROVE HER FATHER TEDDY CRAZY.  Ill. by Edwin Fotheringham. New York, NY: Scholastic Press. ISBN 9780439922319.

PLOT SUMMARY
This non-fiction book about Alice Roosevelt tells about her outrageous, uncontrollable behavior, under scrutiny by the world.  Being the daughter of the President, her father tried to “tame” her, however the public grew to love her exploits.


CRITICAL ANALYSIS
What a wonderful and fun book to read!  I found myself exclaiming out loud and reading bits to co-workers.  Obviously I wasn’t the only person enchanted with this book, as evidenced by the myriad of awards it has received.  

The author, Barbara Kerley, boasts other multiple award winning books (THE DINOSAURS OF WATERHOUSE HAWKINS) and can be counted on for her factual accuracy.   As I was left with a curiosity as to how unconventional Alice “really” was, I did my own research to uncover more stories. What I found is that Ms. Kerley did a terrific job portraying what she did and condensing the person Alice was.  There are plenty of stories and the ones included in the book are ones that appeal to kids and whet your appetite for more.

Inside the back cover is the author’s note which is a must read.  Included are more facts about Alice, which gives a jumping off platform for further reading.  The book is illustrated in a way that is appropriate for the time Alice lived, done in digital media but made to look like the late 1800′s and earlier 1900′s.  They are whimsical and definitely portray the times accurately in clothing and style.

Definitely a must have for all libraries, a must read for all children, as evidenced by all the attention and awards it has received.  I definitely was left with a curiosity to know more about this unconventional woman’s life and suspect I’m not alone in that.  I personally think this is a MUST READ.


REVIEW EXCERPT(S)
Sibert Honor Book
Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book
Irma Black Award Honor Book
Parents Choice Award
Washington State Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award
California Collections
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
An ALA Notable Book
Capitol Choices
New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
Nominated for Young Reader awards in Texas, Illinois, Utah and Tennessee
 

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL starred review:   “Kerley’s text gallops along with a vitality to match her subject’s antics, as the girl greets White House visitors accompanied by her pet snake, refuses to let leg braces cramp her style, dives fully clothed into a ship’s swimming pool, and also earns her place in history as one of her father’s trusted advisers. Fotheringham’s digitally rendered, retro-style illustrations are a superb match for the text.”

BOOKLIST starred review:  “Irrepressible Alice Roosevelt gets a treatment every bit as attractive and exuberant as she was….The large format gives Fotheringham, in his debut, plenty of room for spectacular art.”

CONNECTIONS

Pair this book with others that are full of fun-filled information for a look at lesser known facts about public figures, which can make history fun and full of laughter. Stand Tall, Abraham Lincoln, by Judith St. George is one of these that would pair nicely, as is George Washington’s Teeth by Katherine Stier.


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