Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

What to do about Alice?

What to do about Alice?

Barbara Kerley
Illustrator:  Edwin Fotheringham 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Scholastic Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-0439922319

Theodore Roosevelt has done all kinds of extraordinary and often dangerous things. Among other things he has hunted grizzly bears, herded cattle, and been America's vice president. He has dealt with all kinds of problems but there is one person who always has the better of him - his daughter Alice.

Alice Lee Roosevelt has always been irrepressible. From the time when she was still very little Alice "ate up the world," wanting to experience life to the fullest. Because Alice's mother died when Alice was just two days old, people are inclined to feel sorry for her. Alice isn't having any of it. Sympathy does not interest her. Instead Alice wants to have adventures; and she wants to do things her way.

And this is just what she does. Despite her father's entreaties that she behave herself, Alice does indeed have all kinds of wild adventures, many of which shock people when they hear about them. This is particularly the case when Theodore Roosevelt becomes the president of the United States. To her loving father's dismay Alice does not care what other people think about her behavior. She does what she likes and she always seems to get her way. Mind you, this does not mean that Alice is unable to behave properly. On numerous occasions she helps her father out, and by the time she is all grown up she is one of his most trusted advisors.

With wonderful retro style illustrations as a backdrop to the text, this rambunctious and delightful picture book tells the story of "Princess Alice" to great effect. Readers not only get a vivid sense of what Alice was like - and what it was like to be her father – but they also get to hear the words of Alice and her father in the numerous quotes that can found throughout the book.

The author provides her readers will further information about Alice and her father in the Author's note at the back of the book.