Kerley, Barbara. What to do about Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove her Father Teddy Crazy! Ills.by Edwin Fotheringham. New York: Scholastic Press, 2008. ISBN 0439922313.
2. PLOT SUMMARY
Alice Lee Roosevelt, daughter of beloved President Teddy Roosevelt, has never let anything come in the way of “eating up the world.” From educating herself and refusing to go to boarding school to jumping into a ship’s pool fully clothed, she has always done exactly as she wanted. Kerley, with the help of Edwin Fotheringham’s colorful digital art, illuminates the life of this beloved first daughter - from her childhood running around Washington D.C. and the White House, to becoming one of her father’s most trusted advisers and ambassadors around the world. Alice jumps off the page with text and illustration as active and lively as she is. As her father once said, “I can be president of the United States, or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both.” We can only be grateful for that!
3. CRITICAL ANALYSIS
Kerley does a fantastic job of bringing young Alice Roosevelt to life as she flits across the pages. Paired with Fotheringham’s art in this colorful large volume format, Alice’s personality fills the pages and bright colors, like Alice’s red dress leap from the pages. Alice’s zest for trying everything comes across through not only the words, but the juxtaposition of the text with the images. Using her age as a way to actively organize the narrative, Kerley adds in details from newspapers and biographies to keep the story true to the people, but maintaining a fascinating subject. From images of her greeting White House guests with a pet snake to driving her little sporty car around a double page spread, the reader gets a feel for her wild-child antics turned into beloved ambassador and adviser.
4. 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
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
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 100 TITLES FOR READING AND SHARING
FROM SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL – “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.”
From BOOKLIST – “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.”
Gather other informational books by Barbara Kerley such as:
• Ills. Edwin Fotheringham. THE EXTRAORDINARY MARK TWAIN (ACCORDING TO SUSY). ISBN 0545125081.
• Ills. National Geographic photographers. A COOL DRINK OF WATER. ISBN 0792267230.
Gather other informational biographies about famous people, such as:
• Davies, Jacqueline. THE BOY WHO DREW BIRDS: A STORY OF JOHN JAMES AUDUBON. ISBN0618243437.
• Bryant, Jen. Ills. Melissa Sweet. THE RIGHT WORD: ROGET AND HIS THESAURUS. ISBN 0802853854.
• Berne, Jennifer. Ills. Éric Puybaret. MANFISH: A STORY OF