|Thomas Jefferson, Life Liberty, and the Pursuit of Everything,|
by Maira Kalman, released Jan. 7, 2014.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Everything
Written and illustrated by Maira Kalman
Penguin Young Readers, 2014
Non-Fiction, ages 4-10,
Biography, History, Curiosity
"Thomas Jefferson had red hair and some freckles (about 20 I think), he grew to be very tall and oh, yes, he was the third president of the United States.
"He was born in 1743 on a plantation (a very large farm) in Virginia.
"What was he interested in? EVERYTHING. I mean it. EVERYTHING"
This newly released picture book biography chronicles the life of Thomas Jefferson, centering on his interests at Monticello in a completely kid-friendly format. It gives the standard facts about his birth, death, and major accomplishments. But the author doesn't shy away from Jefferson's contradictory nature. Specifically, the book examines his official stance on slavery vs. his practice. She includes details about his relationship with Sally Hemings in a tasteful, thought-provoking manner appropriate for any age.
What I Love:
The Pursuit of Everything is a fabulously modern example of a non-fiction picture book. It will make a great mentor text worthy of analysis. Kalman uses a variety of fonts, vivid gouache paintings, and conversational text to bring the character of our third president alive. She sneaks sidebars into the layout, grabbing readers unawares, with contemporary information which relates to Jefferson's day. She integrates current topics, challenging vocabulary, and even a bit of rhyming copy. She caught my attention with the outstandingly clever title, but she held it with skillful writing. Plus, I'm a sucker for creative endpapers. These feature the text of the Declaration of Independence.
|Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library,|
written by Barb Rosenstock,
illustrated by John O'Brien
2. You can read Kristen Larson's PPBF review of Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock. It makes a great companion book.
4. AllRecipes provides a tempting fig cake recipe, which Jefferson was reportedly fond of eating.
5. According to the book, Jefferson had a passion for growing vegetables, especially peas. Grow your own pea plants with this amazingly fun, kid-tested, photographic tutorial from igardendaily.
6. Thomas Jefferson was full of new ideas. Inventivekids is a great website for the creative kids in your life.
7. SocialStudiesForKids lists links to most facets of Thomas Jefferson's life and career.
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for February 28, 2014, available on Susanna Leonard Hill's excellent blog.