AUTHOR: Barb Rosenstock
ILLUSTRATOR: John O’Brien
PUBLICATION INFO: Calkins Creek, Sept. 1, 2013
SOURCE: personal collection
INTENDED AUDIENCE: ages 8 and up
OPENING and SYNOPSIS:
“Thomas Jefferson learned to read. And then, he never stopped.”
From the Publisher’s Web site: Thomas Jefferson loved books, reading, and libraries, and he started accumulating books as a young man. This original and lyrical picture-book biography tells the story of how Jefferson’s vast book collections helped to create the world’s largest library, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Filled with excerpts from primary documents, including Jefferson’s thoughts on books, reading, and learning, this title also features John O’Brien’s whimsical and detailed illustrations. Rosenstock and O’Brien worked closely with experts to ensure the text and images are accurate. The book concludes with an author’s note, bibliography, and source notes.
WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: Oh, where to start. I’m a big fan of both Thomas Jefferson and Barb Rosenstock. I attended Mr. Jefferson’s University (University of Virginia) and worked as an intern in Monticello’s research department. I adore Barb Rosenstock’s slice-of-life histories. She doesn’t try to tell Jefferson’s whole life story. Instead, she focuses on one particular aspect of his character — his passion for books — and uses that to illuminate a piece of history. And it’s clear that she has researched her topic thoroughly. I am using this book as a mentor text for a manuscript I’m working on.
- Rosenstock has a teacher’s guide on her Web site. There are lots of fun activities and questions aligned with the Common Core.
- Visit your school or local library. How are the books organized? What kind of books do you find?
- Write your own book. I’ve blogged about book writing for young children previously. I find Joyful Learning in KC to be one of the best blogs around for teaching writing to very young children.
- Take an online tour of the Library of Congress. I took an in-person tour years ago, and it is so lovely.
Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.