What to Do About Alice?
It’s hard to imagine a picture book biography that could better suit its subject than this high-energy volume serves young Alice Roosevelt. Kerley (The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins ) knows just how to introduce her to contemporary readers: “Theodore Roosevelt had a small problem. It wasn’t herding thousands of cattle across the Dakota badlands. He’d done that. It wasn’t leading the Rough Riders.... He’d bagged a grizzly bear, captured outlaws, governed the state of New York, and served as vice president of the United States, and still he had a problem. Her name was Alice.” Debut illustrator Fotheringham creates the perfect mood from the start: his stylish digital art sets a fast pace, making use of speed lines (rendered in dots, these earn their names) and multiple vignettes to evoke characters in perpetual motion. His compositions wittily incorporate headlines, iconic images and plenty of Alice blue, too. Kids will embrace a heroine who teaches her younger stepsiblings to sled down the White House stairs (“Alice tried to be helpful,” Kerley writes soberly as Fotheringham shows her in action), entertains dignitaries with her pet snake and captivates a nation with pranks and high jinks. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)