Washington D.C. is a busy place to live, or work, or go to school. Imagine being the child of a U.S. Senator and having your father bury himself in his work while you are both trying to deal with the death of your mother. That is the situation Jamie Douglas finds himself in and there is no one to turn to for help. To make matters worse, he is being bullied by to larger boys in his class and no one is doing anything about it. The only consolation Jamie has is the large teddy bear that his mother had purchased for his birthday shortly before she passed away. When Jamie holds Teddy and wishes that he had a real dad, he never imagines that Teddy will transform into Theodore Roosevelt and work to make Jamie's wish come true.
Young readers who enjoy learning about history and famous people will find themselves watching the Colonel (as Roosevelt prefers to be called), get to work on fixing the problems in Jamie's life. Whether it is visiting his exclusive school to do a show & tell presentation, offering advice on how to strengthen his muscles, wrestling practice, or a little water balloon fun, the Colonel assures him that he is "as big and strong as a Bull Moose. and you can use me to the limit!" Full of his trademark enthusiasm and sense of adventure, the Colonel shows both the Douglas men how to reconnect with each other and find a new way forward together.
Although this is not a biography, there are plenty of facts about the twenty-sixth president packed into the story. The Panama Canal, the Rough Riders and San Juan Hill, his daughter Alice, and even his love of nature all find a place in the action. The Colonel tells Jamie about having asthma as a child and working to overcome it. He shares his grief at the loss of his mother, wife, and son with Senator Douglas. Throughout the book he uses sayings and gestures that he is famous for. It really does seem as if he has come back to vivid life in modern day D.C.
Elementary and middle school students who are studying American history and the presidents, or prefer reading biographies and books that feature famous figures, would enjoy having this book in their school or classroom libraries. Teachers and parents who are looking for books that offer role models should check out the Children's American Heroes Series.
I received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.