|Thomas Jefferson : life, liberty and the pursuit of everything|
Author: Kalman, Maira
Sheds light on the fascinating life and interests of the Renaissance man who was our third president.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: .5 Quiz: 163053
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 62318
Common Core Standards
Grade 1 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 1.RI Key Ideas & Details
Grade 1 → Reading → CCR - College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards
Grade 2 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 2.RI Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/15/13)
School Library Journal (+) (01/01/14)
Booklist (+) (02/15/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (02/14)
The Hornbook (00/01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2014 Gr 1–4—The inimitable Kalman brings her wit, wisdom, and beautifully unique artwork to one of America's most complex founding fathers: Thomas Jefferson. A thinker, a gardener, a writer, a statesman, and so much more, Jefferson cultivated many interests and pursuits. His ability and need to balance the cerebral with the physical is evident in how he lived, the advice he gave, and the friends he made. Kalman does not shy away from Jefferson's ownership of slaves and relationship with Sally Hemings, which are handled directly and effectively. Bits of historical context are included, but the focus here is on the man and his "pursuit of everything." The text alternates between facts, which appear in a more traditional font, and asides to the reader and Kalman's own thoughts, which are highlighted in large, hand-lettered print. Kalman's distinctive, bold-stroked gouache paintings keep the tone light and fresh, providing plenty of details that garner a closer look. Share this along with the author's picture-book biography of Abraham Lincoln, Looking at Lincoln (Penguin, 2012) to inspire young historians and artists alike. —Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2014 Kalman launches right in to this attractive picture-book biography with a succinct, spot-on summary of what made Thomas Jefferson memorable: “What was he interested in? Everything. I mean it. Everything.” The ensuing pages support the claim with a litany of his personal enthusiasms, his multitudinous concerns as a statesman, and his mind-boggling legacies, edited and arranged to pique children’s interest even as it covers salient textbook facts. Kalman has reprises some elements of her marvelously innovative picture-book biography Looking at Lincoln (BCCB 2/12), including an accessibly informal tone, a fruit bowl of vibrant colors, a frequent focus on a single telling artifact, and plenty of holes punched through the fourth wall to invite readers into the conversation. However, in this case there is no child guide regaling her peers with her discoveries about a Great Man, and thus the naïve comments and asides that pepper the text are a little more more distracting (“His favorite vegetable was peas. Peas really are wonderful and fun to count”). Still, her candid discussion of Jefferson’s contradictory views on slavery is particularly well handled, and a closing observation gives kids permission to be perplexed by this complicated guy: “If you want to understand this country and its people and what it means to be optimistic and complex and tragic and wrong and courageous, you need to go to Monticello.” Yes, indeed. EB - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 02/15/2014 *Starred Review* Thomas Jefferson was complex as this picture-book biography vigorously demonstrates. Famous for life, liberty, and the pursuit of “everything,” he sometimes fell short of the ideal. If Kalman expressed adulation for Lincoln in Looking at Lincoln (2012), in this examination, although admiring of her subject and his accomplishments, she’s more clear-sighted. Vibrant gouache paintings—some full-spread, some more intimate images—capture Jefferson’s family and colleagues, his interests and pursuits, his lavish home, and its inferior slave quarters. The voice is that of a curious child reporting fascinating research findings. The rangy tone, however, allows Kalman to supply a wealth of information—though not everything is well explained. Jefferson had an “ingenious copying machine”? Just a sentence or two highlighting each point is often followed by unrestrained commentary: upon sharing a list of his slaves, the text laments, “Our hearts are broken”; after revealing that Jefferson did not include his presidency in his epitaph, a musing: “I wonder why.” Even the typography, which alternates between staid print and handwritten flourishes, conveys enthusiasm. Playful but informative, as quick witted as Jefferson himself, this will—along with the author’s note—will inspire young readers to learn more. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.