Title: Thomas Jefferson
Author/Illustrator: Maira Kalman
If you want to teach about the founders of America via biographical picture books, Maira Kalman is a great place to start. With spunky pictures and fonts, Kalman introduces children to Jefferson (and in another book she tackles Lincoln), his love for books, language, and gardening.
Kids can discover in Thomas Jefferson quirky details about how Jefferson got out of bed in the morning, his obsession for peas, and learn the quote he told his wife:
“Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any.”
There’s a few pages dedicated to Jefferson’s friends: John Adam, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington, and the ideals the team struggled for.
Kalman doesn’t pull any punches. She talks about slavery and addresses the truth of Sally Hemings. Jefferson had so many wise quotes that adults praise and sharing them with a four year old is especially wise:
“When you are angry, count TEN before you speak; if very angry, to ONE HUNDRED.”
The book ends with a visit to his burial grounds and notes regarding his epitaph.
As a whole it’s lovely and educational. When I told kiddo I was finally posting the review and asked her what she wanted to say about it, she said, “I think we should read it again.”
President’s Day is fast approaching. This one is worth having in your hands on that day.