Being Teddy Roosevelt: A Boy, a President and a Plan (Paperback)
Riley O'Rourke is writing his report on President Teddy Roosevelt in preparation for the fourth-grade biography tea, but he has a far more important goal: to get a saxophone so he can take instrumental music. His mother can't afford to rent him a sax, and he's sure he'll never save up enough money to buy one. But as Riley learns more about Roosevelt's "bully" spirit, he realizes that there just might be a way to solve his problem after all.
Claudia Mills' sparkling story about the influence of important historical figures is enhanced by tender, insightful illustrations.
Being Teddy Roosevelt is a 2008 Bank Street—Best Children's Book of the Year.
About the Author
Claudia Mills is the acclaimed author of many books for children including the Franklin School Friends children's book series, including Cody Harmon, King of Pets and Simon Ellis, Spelling Bee Champ. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
My parents saved everything, so I know that I began drawing sometime around age two. I haven't paused since. In fact, my drawings now and my drawings then bear a rather strong resemblance. I have gotten slightly better at hands, but horses remain a problem. For an only child, growing up in New York, Texas, South Carolina and finally for most of the time in Annapolis, Maryland, drawing was fine self-entertainment. Then, as now, I have always enjoyed most making pictures that illustrate a story rather than hang on a wall. Today I live in Barrington, Rhode Island with the lovely Zoë B. Alley, author, wife and mother of our two clever children, Cassandra and Max.
I make my pictures in a studio that has a rolling ladder, more books than I can count and many tubes of half-used, rock-hard paint. For the last ten years one of my big projects has been to illustrate new and old stories of Paddington Bear. I have also made pictures for over one hundred other books since I started doing all this right out of college in 1979. I didn't go to art school, but received a BA in Art History from Haverford College and then spent four years as a staff artist at several greeting card companies. Since then, I have spent my working time in my slippers trying to avoid illustrating stories with horses.
“Mills writes with such a light, humorous touch that many scenes beg to be read aloud. Much information is subtly woven in to the narrative, and the gathering of world leaders at the tea is a sight to behold.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Enriched by its portrait of grade-school friendships and goofy classroom happenings.” —Booklist
“Bully for Riley and bully for Mills for writing a timely, comfortable school story filled with likable fourth graders.” —The Horn Book
“Children will appreciate this gentle lesson about achieving a goal.” —School Library Journal
“Mills introduces an ingenious, likable lad. Alley's animated art enhances the tale's humor and helps capture the characters' diverse personalities.” —Publishers Weekly
“A clever lead-in to a biographies unit, and the classroom, social, and family dynamics will be warmly and wryly familiar to middle-grade readers.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Mills offers her usual sparking humor and insight in this appealing story.” —Buffalo News
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