From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
In 1903, Theodore Roosevelt read John Muir's book on the Sierra Nevada, which ended with a plea for government to save the vanishing forests. The president asked Muir to take him camping in the Yosemite wilderness, and two months later, Roosevelt followed his knowledgeable guide into the mountains, through the valley, and among the giant sequoia trees. Returning to Washington, the president pushed to pass the laws that created national parks and forests as well as wildlife sanctuaries. The very readable text focuses as much on the men's enjoyment of the outdoors as on the historical importance of their camping trip. Gerstein contributes a wonderfully varied yet coherent set of line-and-watercolor illustrations, including small portraits of the men, a memorable scene showing two figures dwarfed by giant sequoias, and a close-up of the men talking around their campfire. In an appended note, Rosenstock includes information left out of the story and mentions that some scenes were imagined. A short list of sources is included. This colorful picture book humanizes two significant individuals in American history.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 1-4-Theodore Roosevelt (Teedie) and John Muir (Johnnie) both held important positions-Roosevelt was the youngest President of the United States, and Muir was a world-famous naturalist. In 1903, Roosevelt read of Muir's Sierra Mountain adventures and heard his plea for the government to save the mountain forests. Muir's response resulted in a meeting between Teedie and Johnnie, an adventure of only four days that traversed the wonders of the Yosemite Valley and established an understanding and respect between the two. Based on an actual event in which Roosevelt "dropped politics" and persuaded a reluctant Muir to camp with him, the book presents a fictionalized account of the shared experiences of these two strong-willed personalities that resulted in the addition of 18 national monuments and double the number of national parks. Gerstein's richly colored paint and detailed pen drawings heighten readers' vision of an expanded horizon on the full spreads. Turn the book lengthwise to accommodate the sequoia giants' full height, and back again as tiny vignettes fill the night sky in tales above lingering campfire shadows. Impressions of the wilderness emphasize the grand impact of the event, detailed by an author's note (bibliography and references to the Yosemite Research Library, John Muir National Site, and University of the Pacific Library are included). In interpreting and recording both personal relationships and the historical impact of the meeting, this offering makes a little-known bit of history accessible for younger readers, and encourages further research.-Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.