Thomas Jefferson

Best Seller
Thomas Jefferson by Maira Kalman
Hardcover $17.99

Jan 07, 2014 | 40 Pages | 5-8 years

  • Hardcover $17.99

    Jan 07, 2014 | 40 Pages | 5-8 years

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* “Beautiful and a little sad: the complex, brilliant, flawed nature of the third U.S. president. . . . Rich, impressionist colors and lively lines. . . . Poetic presentation. . . . Conveys clearly [Jefferson’s] contribution to the growing nation as founding father and president. . . . Kalman’s intimate address to listeners and readers works well. . . . Impressive complexity put artfully and respectfully within the grasps of young readers.” — Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

* “The inimitable Kalman brings her wit, wisdom, and beautifully unique artwork to one of America’s most complex founding fathers: Thomas Jefferson. . . . 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.” — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

* “Vibrant gouache paintings. . . . The voice is that of a curious child reporting fascinating research findings . . . allows Kalman to supply a wealth of information. . . . Playful but informative, as quick witted as Jefferson himself, this will inspire young readers to learn more.” — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Kalman dwells in conflict and raises questions to the end, pronouncing Monticello a symbol of all that is ‘optimistic and complex and tragic and wrong and courageous’ about America.” — Publishers Weekly

“Striking picture book biography. . . . A colloquial, occasionally arch, and whimsical narrative, heavy with historical import and dotted with trivia. The vibrant imagery, frank content, and disarming language combine in a nuanced portrait that respects its subject and its audience in equal measure. At a time when the Founding Fathers are invoked frequently as heroes of lost, black-and-white propriety, a biography of such candor is welcome indeed. Direct, objective author’s notes about the people and places involved round out this substantial offering.” — The Horn Book

“Arranged to pique children’s interest even as it covers salient textbook facts. Kalman reprises some elements of her marvelously innovative picture-book biography Looking at Lincoln, 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. . . . 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.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“A beautiful look inside the makings of a great American, with all of his achievements, quirks, and mistakes laid out for the reader. . . . Infused with interesting details. . . . The watercolor illustrations are striking, with bright colors and playfulness that appeals to younger readers. . . . A sensitive, thought-provoking book about one of our country’s greatest leaders that uniquely talks about his strengths and weaknesses.” — Library Media Connection

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