Synopses & Reviews
As soon as Thomas Jefferson learned to read, he found his passion: books, books, and more books! Before, during, and after the American Revolution, Jefferson collected thousands of books on hundreds of subjects. In fact, his massive collection eventually helped rebuild the Library of Congressnow the largest library in the world. Barb Rosenstocks rhythmic words and John OBriens whimsical illustrations capture Jeffersons passion for the written word as well as little-known details about book collecting. Author and artist worked closely with experts to create the first picture book on Jeffersons love of reading, writing, and books. An authors note, bibliography, and source notes for quotations are also included.
"Thomas Jefferson 'gobbled books the way a starving man eats.' Rosenstock's (The Camping Trip That Changed America) apt metaphor sets the tone for this jaunty picture-book biography of the third U.S. president. Following Jefferson's birth in 1743 to his restocking of the Library of Congress in 1815, the playful narrative ('While at college, he read fifteen hours a day. Guess what he started collecting?!') complements even more playful illustrations. O'Brien's (Look... Look Again!) dynamic ink-and-watercolor illustrations show the redheaded leader in perpetual motion around books, exaggerating his hobby to humorous effect. Jefferson stacks tomes on his mantel in the shape of the word 'books' or reads several books at once by swinging from a trapeze. Pointillist dots overlay the artwork, texturing O'Brien's pictures with a mottled look. Readers' eyes will dart among several scenes in each spread, the busy layout giving a sense of Jefferson's full education-driven life. Appearing on nearly every page are images of small, open books that provide further biographical facts and quotations. Author notes and a bibliography wrap up a lively peek at a literature-loving political giant. Ages 8 up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"This attractive picture book uses Thomas Jefferson's love of reading and collecting books as a lens through which to view the story of his life. . . An informative author's note rounds out this appealing introduction to Jefferson." --Booklist
"This unusual picture-book biography fosters a new understanding of Thomas Jefferson's life as viewed through his love of books and its impact on our burgeoning nation. . .Sure to be enjoyed, this is an engaging study of one of our Founding Father's great legacies." --Kirkus Reviews
"It is no small feat to entertain children in a book about loving books (an increasingly croweded shelf), but this duo succeeds admirably through well-chosen facts, staggering statistics, an interactive text, and humor. . . This is a unique portrayal of the life and passions of the third president." --School Library Journal
"Jefferson's well-documented obsession with books--reading, recommending, lending, gifting, and collecting--gets the picture-book treatment in this chatty biography that describes the journey of Jefferson's collection from private stash to the basis of the Library of Congress. . ." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Thomas Jefferson loved books, reading, and libraries, and he started accumulating books as a young man. This original and lyrical picture-book biography tells the story of how Jefferson's vast book collections helped to create the world's largest library, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Filled with excerpts from primary documents, including Jefferson’s thoughts on books, reading, and learning, this title also features John O’Brien’s whimsical and detailed illustrations. Rosenstock and O’Brien worked closely with experts to ensure the text and images are accurate. The book concludes with an author’s note, bibliography, and source notes.