Being Teddy Roosevelt (Hardcover)
A Boy, a President and a Plan
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 9780374306571, 96pp.
Publication Date: February 20, 2007
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
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.
Praise For Being Teddy Roosevelt: A Boy, a President and a Plan…
“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