Grade 3-5 - These beginning biographies have simple texts set upon beautifully arranged spreads with crisp full-color and black-and-white photographs. The first book introduces Kennedy's family and childhood, health problems, education, military service, literary pursuits, political campaigns, marriage, and fatherhood. The Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuban Missile Crisis, Cold War, civil rights movement, and his assassination are all discussed. Sidebars highlight the youngest presidents, Jackie's White House tours, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation (a bit of a stretch), Rosa Parks (a "mystery person" inclusion), and "John, Jackie, & Caroline after the White House." The second book describes Roosevelt's childhood; health problems; and love for animals, nature, and learning. The untimely deaths of both his mother and first wife are described as is his subsequent marriage to Edith and their family. Roosevelt's efforts to reform local, state, and national politics are noted as is his military service with the Rough Riders, success in building the Panama Canal, and establishment of 230 million acres of national park land. Sidebars focus on Roosevelt's home museum, Mount Rushmore, his "Big Stick" policy, and the story of the Teddy bear. While the coverage is somewhat superficial, the eye-popping layout of these titles makes them serviceable additions for most collections. - Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI
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