Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Young Teddy Roosevelt

Young Teddy Roosevelt

Cheryl Harness
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
National Geographic Children's Books, 1998   ISBN: 978-0792270942

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. came into the world on October 27th, 1858, to join Mother, Father, and his sister Anna. He was frail from the very beginning and for years his loving parents worried about their little son, who was thin, prone to asthma attacks, and not robust. They tried everything their doctor's recommended and they even took "Teedie" to Europe in the hope that a change of scene would help. Though his health did not really improve, the trip was a splendid one and Teedie enjoyed himself enormously. Finally Teedie's father has a talk with his son telling him that he had to "make" his body as strong as his mind.

Being a very determined boy Teedie got to work. He lifted weights, rode, swam, rowed, and hiked. And, after a lot of work, Teedie did indeed get stronger. By the time he got to Harvard, Teedie, or Teddy as he preferred to be called, was full of energy and he was the life of the party. During this time Teddy met a lovely young woman called Alice Lee, and soon after Teddy's graduation, he and Alice got married.

Unfortunately for Teddy, his happiness with his beloved Alice was not to last. Four years after they got married Alice died, leaving Teddy bereft and with a baby girl to care for. Feeling his loss a great deal Teddy head out west where he spent more than a year helping to manage cattle on his two ranches.

Finally, in 1886, Teddy came home and he remarried. Teddy and his wife Edith set about building a home together, and before long it was full of children. After being a "literary feller" for about three years, Teddy got into politics in a big way, and he became a force for good in New York City; and this was just the beginning.

This wonderfully written and superbly illustrated picture book will introduce young readers to the life and work of one of America's most colorful public personalities. Through her words Cheryl Harness captures Theodore Roosevelt's irrepressible character, and his incredible energy and determination. Her artwork for this book not only provides a colorful setting for the text, but the pictures and illustrated maps are also packed with information about Teddy and his world.

Make sure that you take a look at Cheryl Harness's other books, many of which are reviewed here.