Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt!

Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt!

Leslie Kimmelman
Illustrator:  Adam Gustavson 
Historical Fiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Peachtree Publishers, 2009   ISBN: 978-1561454921

Teddy Roosevelt is the twenty-sixth president of the United States and he knows how to “handle almost anything.” He knows how to fight like a soldier, how to manage a whole state, how to deal with businessmen, how to a broker peace between warring nations, and how to save the environment. There is one thing though that Teddy Roosevelt does not always know how to handle and this is his daughter Alice.

Alice is a handful. Her manners are appalling, and when Teddy Roosevelt tries to discipline his daughter, she finds ways to get around his rules. She is also fond of pushing the envelope. She is one of the first women to drive an automobile, and she strongly believes that women should have the same rights and privileges as men. She enjoys it when her pet garter snake, Emily Spinach, escapes and upsets people. There are many people who wonder why the president doesn’t do something about Alice’s behavior. Surely the president of the United States can control his own daughter?

Based on true stories about Alice Roosevelt, this is a story that is entertaining and interesting. Young readers will learn a lot about the Teddy Roosevelt, his household (including the many pets), and his rambunctious eldest daughter who liked to cause a stir wherever she went. Adam Gustavson’s expressive illustrations perfectly capture Alice’s lively nature, and the many ways in which she exasperated her father.