Monday, December 5, 2011

Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt

  Title: Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt
                                  Author: Leslie Kimmelman
                                  Illustrator:  Adam Gustavson
                                  Publisher: Peachtree
                                  Publication Date: 2009
                                  Genre/Format: Picture Book
                                  Classification: Fiction

Summary: Alice Roosevelt was headstrong, famous for her unconventional behavior and the oldest child of President Theodore Roosevelt. Alice did things her way and earned the nickname “Princess Alice.”  While her father was in the White House she kept a pet snake, rode a pig and roller skated down the White House hallway. After Alice married and left the White House, she continued to be an unconventional force in politics.  A brief author’s notes provide further bibliographical information.
Personal thoughts:
The first thing I noticed was the cover of the book where Alice is sitting on a desk and has a green snake wrapped around her arm. In the background you see her father scratching his head as if he doesn’t really know what to do with her. How many times have my own children seen me scratching my head in exasperation trying to figure out what I should do next? The illustrations are delightful, humorous and action filled throughout the book. I think children will love the fact that Alice doesn’t always conform to the rules just as they sometimes don’t conform to the rules either.
Read Together:   grades K-3
Read without help: grades 3-6
Read With:  What To Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!  (Barbara Kerley, 2008)
Snippet of Text:  
“Teddy knew how to handle being vice president of the United States. Then when President McKinley died suddenly in 1901, Teddy took charge and learned how to handle being president. But Teddy Roosevelt didn’t always know how to handle his oldest daughter, Alice.” (Unnumbered page)
“Alice we don’t eat asparagus with gloves on.” (Unnumbered page)
“Alice, that’s not how to ride a bicycle.”  (Unnumbered page)
“But handling Alice and her pet snake was not so easy. The snake’s name was Emily Spinach: Emily after Alice’s very thin Aunt Emily and Spinach for her green color.” (Unnumbered page)
Connections to Writing: Expository(1) While Alice lived in the White House she had many different kinds of pets: dogs, birds, cats, and a snake. Think of your favorite animal you might like to have as a pet and describe that animal. (2)  
Connections to Writing: Narrative—(1) Pretend your mother or father became president of the United States and you have just moved to the White House. Write a letter to your best friend back home telling him all about the wonderful things you were able to do on the first day of your new home. (2)   If you lived in the White House you probably would be able to order any of your favorite foods. Write a menu of the foods you would like to have served to you while you live in the White House.
Connections to Social Studies: (1) This book can serve as means to research the White House and how the building has changed from the original building.
Topics Covered: Children who lived in the White House, Teddy Roosevelt, Alice Roosevelt
Translated to other languages: None
Other formats: None

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