The book is factually correct and even pegs his divorce from Jane Wyman. But the young reader will see drawing after drawing of Nancy Reagan, and it is clear this was a special marriage by two people utterly in love with each other for more than 50 years. Of all presidents and first ladies, their love may have been the greatest.
There is also a helpful chronology at the back of the book as well as Reagan quotes and samples of correspondence. This book was well thought out and well put together.
A word about the art. Reagan was one of the lucky people who always took a good picture. I’ve never seen a bad picture of Reagan, even when he wasn’t posing. But Reagan is very hard to draw and even harder to sculpt as artists will tell you. There are actually very few really good sculptures of Reagan and yet the illustrator for “The Remarkable Ronald Reagan,” Leslie Harrington, did a superb job depicting for children her subject in dignified art form and in varying settings.
The word to describe this book is “charming.” Kinda like its subject.
Here is hoping Susan Allen and Leslie Harrington collaborate on other children’s books. Here’s hoping “The Remarkable Ronald Reagan” makes its way into every grade school in America as the life lessons well told here are life lessons for all.
Craig Shirley, president of Shirley and Banister Public Affairs, is author of “Reagan’s Revolution” (Thomas Nelson, 2010), “Rendezvous with Destiny” (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2011), and “December 1941” (Thomas Nelson, 2011).