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Thomas Jefferson : life, liberty and the pursuit of everything

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Renowned artist Maira Kalman sheds light on the fascinating life and interests of the Renaissance man who was our third president. Thomas Jefferson is perhaps best known for writing the Declaration of Independence?but there’s so much more to discover. This energetic man was interested in everything. He played violin, spoke seven languages and was a scientist, naturalist, botanist, mathematician and architect. He designed his magnificent home, Monticello, which is full of objects he collected from around the world. Our first foodie, he grew over fifteen kinds of peas and advocated a mostly vegetarian diet. And oh yes, as our third president, he doubled the size of the United States and sent Lewis and Clark to explore it. He also started the Library of Congress and said, ?I cannot live without books.” But monumental figures can have monumental flaws, and Jefferson was no exception. Although he called slavery an ?abomination,” he owned about 150 slaves. As she did in Looking at Lincoln, Maira Kalman shares a president’s remarkable, complicated life with young readers, making history come alive with her captivating text and stunning illustrations.

Maira Kalman (www.mairakalman.com) is the author-illustrator of numerous picture books, including Looking at Lincoln, Fireboat, Next Stop Grand Central, and What Pete Ate from A?Z, as well as adult hits such as And the Pursuit of Happiness and The Elements of Style Illustrated. She is also the illustrator of the Printz Honor Winning Book Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler. Her artwork has appeared on a dozen New Yorker covers, and her watches, clocks, accessories and paperweights have been featured at the Museum of Modern Art store. She lives in New York City.

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