Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Even familiar political figures can get bold new treatments, as this dramatic picture-book biography shows. The wordless cover, featuring only the face of Eleanor Roosevelt, her expression one of hope mixed with purpose, immediately captures attention. Before the story begins, a double-page spread is offered with just the quote, Do something every day that scares you. The book then opens with glimpses of Eleanor's early life: her mother thought her ugly, too serious, and called her Granny. After her parents' death, she moved in with her grandmother, who did everything she thought was right for a little girl except hug and kiss her. The narrative moves swiftly through the important moments in Roosevelt's life, including marriage and family, but along with accomplishments, Rappaport does something more subtle she shows the way Eleanor grew into herself. Crisp sentences focus the narrative and are bolstered by the quotes that end each page. If the text has a smart spareness to it, the accompanying art is composed of rich, beautifully crafted paintings that also catch Roosevelt's growing sense of purpose. There are a few quibbles the quotes could have been more clearly sourced, and there's no mention of FDR's affairs, an important reason for Eleanor's growth but overall, this is an exciting introduction to a well-loved leader.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2008 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Rappaport's spare text and Kelley's handsome paintings, evocative of WPA murals, reclaim the legendary first lady's story for the younger set, revealing the person behind the icon. Writing in clipped, one-or-two-sentence paragraphs that have the feel of blank verse, Rappaport is vivid and frank about Eleanor's unhappy childhood and overbearing mother-in-law ("Sara told Eleanor what clothes to buy and what food to serve.... She even chose their furniture"), although she demurs when it comes to the Roosevelts' own marital problems. Each spread is anchored by a quote from Eleanor herself, set in large type to convey her voice, growing sense of confidence and moral conviction (the opening endpapers read, "Do something every day that scares you," setting a powerful tone from the outset). Kelley's muted palette conveys the gravity of the times and provides a striking visual counterpoint to his dramatic, strongly geometric compositions. Even if readers have little sense of history, they will close the book understanding that it was America's great fortune to have Eleanor's life coincide with some of its darkest hours. Ages 5-8. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 3-8-Once again Rappaport celebrates a noble, heroic life in powerful, succinct prose, with prominent, well-chosen, and judiciously placed quotes that both instruct and inspire. From her lonely childhood to her transformative education in Europe and marriage to Franklin Roosevelt, the subject is portrayed as a serious, intelligent, hardworking humanitarian. Despite the picture-book format, students get enough background and information to appreciate the woman's outstanding qualities and contributions as well as enough details for reports. As in Martin's Big Words (2001) and Abe's Honest Words (2008, both Hyperion), each spread features the winning combination of the author's text, the subject's quotes, and evocative artwork. Personal notes from the author and illustrator are appended. The evocative pictures tell the story of both the subject and her country. Kelley's subtle use of contrast, such as Roosevelt's posh townhouse juxtaposed against a poorly lit tenement or Marian Anderson, clad in black, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, is quite powerful. Celebrate women in history and in politics with this picture-book life.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
(Primary, Intermediate) Unlike the subjects of Rappaport's earlier "words" biographies such as Martin's Big Words (rev. 11/08) and Abe's Honest Words (rev. 1/02), Eleanor Roosevelt may not be immediately familiar to potential readers. Here, Eleanor's words define her growth from an insecure, unloved child ("I wanted to sink through the floor in shame") to a reluctant but forceful political voice ("You must do the things you cannot do") to respected citizen of the world ("All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights"). Rappaport's text outlines Eleanor's developing concern for others and lessening concern for self, epitomized in a triple-frame illustration of Eleanor addressing an audience that convincingly conveys her metamorphosis and increasing confidence. Appended with a timeline of important events in Eleanor's life, notes from both author and illustrator, a selected bibliography, and recommended readings and Internet sites. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Unhappy and quiet as a child, Eleanor Roosevelt learned to speak for herself as a teenager, encouraged her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt's political career and made one for herself during his presidency and after his death, defending the weak and fighting for freedoms. This brief but inspiring biography combines outsized quotations from her many writings with a simple, direct text (rendered in a large font) delineating her life. Beginning with the striking cover portrait, Kelley's luminescent pastel illustrations in subdued colors show Eleanor at various stagesserious child, independent schoolgirl, devoted wife, public speaker and United Nations representativeas well as the world she cared for. No specific sources are provided for the quotations, but the author has appended a list of selected research sources, appropriate further reading and websites and a chronology. Suitable for reading aloud as well as independently, this is a gracious and admiring portrait, a splendid way to introduce the "First Lady of the World" to a new generation of young children. (Picture book/biography. 5-9) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.