Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major

Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major

Tom Isbell, Ronald Kidd
Illustrator:  Ard Hoyt 
For ages 7 to 9
Aladdin, 2008   ISBN: 978-1416948575

The Russian ambassador is going to be visiting the White House, and President Theodore Roosevelt needs his children to give him the peace and quiet he needs to conduct some tricky negotiations with the ambassador. Unfortunately for the president his children have a habit of creating chaos around them. For example there was the time when they put the family pony in the White House elevator.

So, knowing full well what could happen, the president has hired a nanny who will be keeping an eye on the children, and he suggests that they read a book together. The book selected is Treasure Island, and soon enough Ethel, Kermit, and Archie are sitting in the library and listening to the story of Jim Hawkins. Then, as Ethel turns a page, a piece of paper falls out of the book. On one side of the paper there is a map of the White House, and on the other there are a serious of riddles.

Being curious children, Ethel, Kermit, and Archie begin the process of trying to unravel the riddles. They are sure that the answers will be clues of some kind, and they become convinced that the riddles and the map will lead them to a treasure. After all the White House is full of secrets – isn't it?

This delightful story is not only entertaining and often funny, but it will also show children what Theodore Roosevelt's home life was like. Though this is a work of fiction, many true facts about the Roosevelts have been incorporated into the story. Young readers will see that the adventurous and irrepressible president had a lot on his plate, and yet he managed to have a good sense of humor and an enormous amount of patience.