With warm weather at last, we’re releasing butterflies, watching birds, and swimming in the pool. Our outdoor activities prompted today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick about presidential outdoorsman, Teddy Roosevelt.
TITLE: TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS
AUTHOR: Doreen Rappaport
ILLUSTRATOR: C. F. Payne
PUBLICATION INFO: Disney Hyperion, 2013
INTENDED AUDIENCE: ages 6 to 8
GENRE: nonfiction picture book biography
OPENING and SYNOPSIS:
“’Teedie,’ as he was called, coughed, sneezed, wheezed, had raging fevers, and hardly ate.”
From the jacket flap:
“President Theodore Roosevelt is known as “the man with a plan,” the “rough rider.” His figure stands tall in American history; his legacy stretching him to larger-than-life proportions.
But before his rise to fame, he was just “Teedie,” a boy with ambitious dreams to change the world, and the conviction to see his stupendous imaginings brought to fruition.
As an American president, he left an impressive mark upon his country. He promised a “square deal” to all citizens, he tamed big businesses, and protected the nation’s wildlife and natural beauty. His fearless leadership assured that he would always be remembered, and his robust spirit now dares others to do mighty things.
In her moving picture book portrait, award-winning author Doreen Rappaport uses her well-honed approach of personal quotes and vivid prose to spin together the tale of a sickly boy who became a monumental man. Coupled with C. F. Payne’s dramatic artwork, the story of President Teddy, touchstone of American history, is brought to life.”
THEMES/TOPICS: history, biography
WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: Teddy Roosevelt is a fascinating character. He truly remade himself from an often-sick youth into the quintessential outdoorsman and bold politician. I’ve read other books that focused on snippets of his life, for example Rosenstock’s THE CAMPING TRIP THAT CHANGED AMERICA, but this is the first truly comprehensive biography I’ve seen. Rappaport integrates primary sources into the text and presents a balanced picture. She shows how Teddy intervened in other country’s affairs, like those of Panama, ultimately building the Panama Canal. Of course, Teddy Roosevelt could care less what others thought, she tells us. Rappaport reveals Teddy as truly larger-than-life, and Payne’s illustrations follow suit beginning with the cover. It shows only Teddy’s laughing face. No title. No author’s name. No illustrator’s name. Just Teddy, truly larger than life.
- Rappaport’s back matter has resources for further exploration, including books and Web sites.
- A teacher’s guide is available through her Web site.
- She also has links to several videos of Teddy, including one of him hunting big game in Africa.
- And, of course, you too can dare mighty things and try some of the things Teddy did: ride a horse, watch birds, hike, and write your own books about what you find.
You’ll find way more cool books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s “Perfect Picture Books.” Every Friday folks review a host of new books. Join us!
15 thoughts on “PPBF: To Dare Mighty Things”
Don’t know how I missed this book. I love Doreen Rappapport’s books. They are always about bigger than life historical figures. Want this one for sure. Looks beautiful.
I love MARTIN’S BIG WORDS. It’s so hard to find MLK books for kindergarten, but Rappaport is a master.
The Roosevelt family wasn’t a healthy one, was it? Good book selection even if I am JEALOUS of the butterflies and pool swimming.
You know, I never thought of it that way…interesting. We are hoping to have a pool party for Easter, but if past history holds, it will end up being cold and windy instead.
This book looks cool! I haven’t heard of it, but I do love C. F. Payne’s work. Thanks, Kristen!
I think he illustrates most of this series of biographies. They are good ones, especially for younger readers.
I have this book on my want list – just because of that cover!! It just makes me smile! Thanks for the review.
Teddy certainly had a zest for life and believed he had lived a fuller one than most people.
This pick is a NF favorite of mine. I LOVE the art in this book!
I can’t remember what prompted me to pick it up, but I had it on hold. I must have read about it somewhere…
This seems so well researched and that picture is priceless!
I love the fact that Rappaport weaves quotes into each spread. With the push towards primary sources, it’s a nice technique.
I do love that picture! And it’s amazing that there is no text on the cover! Wow! That would make me open the book. The story sound wonderful. My library doesn’t have it but I’ll try the inter-library loan.
I like the life of Teddy Roosevelt as well, amazing going from a sickly kid to one who did so much for America. Haven’t read this one yet.
He was certainly an interesting man and the cover is amazing… had to look twice to see that it had no text, at all.