cover image Joey: The Story of Joe Biden

Joey: The Story of Joe Biden

Jill Biden, with Kathleen Krull, illus. by Amy June Bates. S&S/Wiseman, $19.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8053-7

Biden’s anecdotal portrait of her spouse’s early years spotlights his competitiveness and risk-taking as a boy who “never refused a dare, even when it was dangerous.” But she places equal emphasis on his role as a peacemaker, devoted brother, and defender of bullied peers—an empathy nurtured by his own experience being mocked for stuttering. The narrative also underscores the influence of his parents’ unwavering encouragement and belief in his ability to succeed, and reveals how Joe Biden’s metamorphosis in high school, when he became a star athlete and class president, paved the way for leadership roles in college and beyond. Bates contributes softly focused, Rockwellian mixed-media illustrations that effectively chart time’s passage. The author’s tone is expectedly laudatory (she cites President Obama’s proclamation that Joe Biden was “the best vice president America’s ever had” and describes her husband as “always voted ‘most liked’ ”), and a line about the figure being “not privileged” strikes an odd note. A concluding timeline concisely supplies details of the 2020 presidential hopeful’s personal and political lives. Ages 4–8. (June)