Monday, July 7, 2008

What to do about Alice by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

The sub-title reads: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World and Drove her Father Teddy Crazy.

Unfortunately, it doesn't really describe the book. Her chief rule-breaking seems to be riding bicycles and then driving cars too fast. Although a few "scandalous" things are briefly mentioned, like betting or dancing, Alice just isn't very....charming. She comes across as a spoiled, greedy, and wild girl who turns into a....big surprise, greedy and wild woman. The author's note is more informative about her life than the entire book.

That being said, the pictures are exuberant and lovely. Interestingly, Alice's eyes are always looking away, backwards, or slyly tilted, possibly an interesting view of her life, where much of her political work was carried on behind the scenes, despite her wild social life.

Verdict: The illustrations make this worth purchasing IF you have an audience for picture book biographies at your library. I don't - can't get anyone to check the things out even if I beg on bended knee.

ISBN: 978-0439922319; Published March 2008 by Scholastic; Borrowed from the library

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