To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt

illus. by C. F. Payne. 48p. bibliog. chron. further reading. websites. Hyperion/Disney. Dec. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781423124887.
RedReviewStarGr 2–5—Once again, Rappaport offers an accessible introduction to one of the world's most influential people, punctuating her poignant narrative with well-chosen quotes that help frame the life of an important figure. Roosevelt stands tall in American history, but his childhood was one of serious illness that kept him bedridden for long periods of time. He became an avid reader and yearned for the life of the adventurers he read about. "Teedie," as he was called, longed to explore the wilderness and yearned to be a "fearless" man like his heroes. From his early political career through the challenges of his presidency, this book chronicles how he became that fearless leader. He confronted injustice head-on and promised a "Square Deal" to all citizens, opposed many special business interests, including the use of child labor, and sought to protect the nation's wildlife and preserve its beauty. The highs and lows of both his personal and public life are presented here, including the death of his beloved wife, his experience as a soldier with the "Rough Riders," and being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906. Rappaport breathes life into her subject in a way that is sure to spark the interest of the most reluctant reader. Her choice of quotations defines the man's lively personality and charisma, and Payne's softly shaded artwork highlights his facial expressions and dramatically captures the robust emotion, good humor, and unstinting courage that are the hallmarks of the 26th president. Concisely written and yet poetic, this is a first purchase for every library. —Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY
In this picture book biography, Rappaport intersperses primary source quotations throughout the main text to capably distill Theodore Roosevelt's life. Her account of Roosevelt's political career is balanced with brief but intimate glimpses into his two marriages and family life. Payne's superb illustrations seem to straddle the worlds of fine art and political cartoon, capturing Roosevelt’s multifaceted, larger-than-life personality. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib.
In her latest picture book biography, Rappaport capably distills Theodore Roosevelt's life with the help of her trademark primary source quotations interspersed throughout the main text. "Teedie" was a sickly child with a strong intellect and a persistent will. Those latter qualities would serve him well in his adult life, starting with a term in the New York State Assembly and moving on to leadership positions including governor, vice president, and (upon the assassination of William McKinley) president of the United States.

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