Title: Camping with the President
Author: Ginger Wadsworth
Illustrator: Karen Dugan
Publisher: Calkins Creek
Concepts: natural resources, economic role of government
Review: Two years after he became president, Theodore Roosevelt made a decision that would have large repercussions for forest and wildlife preservation in the United States. Roosevelt wrote John Muir, a famous naturalist and one of the president’s favorite authors, and said he would like to meet Muir in California for a camping trip. The two men spent four days camping in California’s Yosemite National Park, unaccompanied by other dignitaries and the media, and talked non-stop about the animals, the giant sequoia trees, glacial activity, environmental preservation, and the importance of federal government control in protecting the Yosemite Valley.
The campout, which Roosevelt enthusiastically described as “bully”, made a lasting impression on the president and contributed to his subsequent efforts to set aside precious wilderness areas as new national parks. This interesting book, with its realistic illustrations, makes a useful vehicle for teaching children about natural resources and an important but little-known event in Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children