Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WHAT TO DO ABOUT ALICE? by Barbara Kerley Kirkus Star


How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!

by Barbara Kerley & illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-439-92231-9
Publisher: Scholastic

Theodore Roosevelt’s irrepressible oldest child receives an appropriately vivacious appreciation in this superb picture book. “From the time she was a little girl, Alice ate up the world.” Taking her thematic approach from Alice’s own self-description, Kerley’s precise text presents readers with a devilishly smart, strong-willed girl who was determined to live life on her own terms—and largely succeeded. Sprinkling her account with well-chosen quotations, she outlines Alice Roosevelt Longworth’s childhood and its increasingly outrageous hijinks, as well as the loving (if sometimes exasperating) relationship she enjoyed with her renowned father. Fotheringham’s digital illustrations perfectly evoke the retro styles of an earlier age, depicting a confident Alice sailing through life and tackling every challenge with delight and aplomb. The illustrator takes every opportunity to develop Alice’s character further; one memorable spread shows a blandly smiling Alice leading her smaller siblings in riding trays down the White House stairs while the text merely remarks, “She watched her younger brothers and sister so her stepmother could get some rest.” It’s a gleeful celebration of a fully, unapologetically led life. (author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)