cover image Michelle


Deborah Hopkinson, , illus. by AG Ford. . HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-182739-6

With a cover design that echoes that of Jonah Winter's Barack , also illustrated by Ford, this streamlined picture book–biography of the first lady feels tailor-made to pair with that title. Writing with obvious admiration for the first lady, Hopkinson (Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek ) touches on Michelle's childhood years in a loving working-class family, her academic accomplishments, courtship, marriage, careers and role as devoted mother and active supporter of her husband's presidential campaign. The straightforward, accessible text at times assumes dramatic overtones, as when, on Barack Obama's election night, “this night of new beginnings, Michelle stood ready to keep working hard, to help her own children, and children and families across America, make their big dreams come true.” Ford's paintings offer likenesses of Michelle and her family, often capturing facial expressions and nuances of posture and gesture with uncanny realism. This warm, respectful portrait succeeds in presenting its subject as both inspirational and relatable. Ages 4–7. (Oct.)