August 25, 2016 is the centennial of the National Park Service making this year an excellent time to read about the camping trip President Theodore Roosevelt took with John Muir. Yellowstone had already been a national park for several decades when this story took place, but other wonderful places in America were not protected. That worried John Muir so he wrote books and persuaded officials to take action. And in 1903, the president asked Muir to lead him to Yosemite.
Mordicai Gerstein's illustrations capture the exuberance of our youngest president, the awe and delight of nature, and the camaraderie of camping. Even the snowstorm that caught them in the mountains didn't dampen their enthusiasm. The Camping Trip that Changed America also has a little gentle fun with President Roosevelt's version of roughing it. Muir's plea to protect the wilderness will resonate with every child who has read The Lorax. Camping with the President by Ginger Wadsworth is another version of the same trip.
Review by Carolyn Caywood, retired from VBPL