“A picture book biography that skillfully shares Jimmy Carter’s life of service.”
A timely picture book biography of former United States president Jimmy Carter as the 39th president reaches a monumental 95 years of age. Summarizing his long life while highlighting pivotal moments along the way, including his naval career, his return to Georgia to manage his family’s peanut farm, his efforts to protect and promote civil rights, his contribution to the peace negotiation between Egypt and Israel, the Iranian hostage crisis, and his continued service after his presidency building affordable housing. Hegedus uses Carter’s experiences with his childhood friend Alonzo “A.D.” Davis to provide perspective on Carter’s desire to promote civil rights. Her description of the day A.D. let Carter pass through a gate first because Carter was white and A.D. was black—not because Carter required it but because onlookers might cause trouble for A.D.—is a particularly poignant moment reflecting the tragedy of racial prejudice. “Nothing was the same after that. A.D. could no longer be himself around Jimmy.” Han creates the illustrations digitally and uses a soft, tan skewed color palette that gives the story a subdued, reflective touch as a picture book. Hegedus’s admiration of Carter, explicitly stated in her Author’s Note, is clearly conveyed through the story, though she even handedly includes Carter’s successes and disappointments.
The first picture book about the inspiring life of humanitarian Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth president of the United States and a Nobel Prize winner—from Alabama Spitfire author Bethany Hegedus.
Even before Jimmy Carter became president, he knew the value of hard work. Living on his family’s peanut farm, Jimmy saw how hard work yielded strong results.
At least it did for some people. But growing up in the segregated South, Jimmy also saw firsthand how white people and black people were not treated equally. None of it was right. None of it was fair.
So Jimmy created a list of Good Mental Habits to help him navigate life’s challenges. The list guided his thoughts and actions and helped him fight for change, whether working with civil rights leaders to end racial discrimination in his home state of Georgia, helping to negotiate peace in the Middle East, or building homes for the poor through Habitat for Humanity.
From the statehouse to the White House and beyond, Jimmy has worked to make change for all people, devoting decades to public service and becoming one of the most respected humanitarians of our time. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.
Bethany Hegedus is the award-winning author of Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird; Truth with a Capital T; and Between Us Baxters and coauthor along with Arun Gandhi of Grandfather Gandhi and Be the Change. She owns the Writing Barn, a writing workshop and retreat center in Austin, TX. Bethany is a former educator who speaks and teaches across the country. You can find her online at www.bethanyhegedus.com and on Twitter @BethanyHegedus.
Kyung Eun Han once worked as a corporate credit analyst until she changed her career to illustration. Her debut picture book, Into the Forest, was published in Korea in 2018. Kyung uses both digital and traditional media to create her artwork and has also illustrated for advertising, movies, and magazine in addition to picture books. She lives in Anyang, Korea. You can visit her online at www.kyungeunhan.wixsite.com/illust and on Instagram at @kyung_illust.
For Carmen Oliver, Kirsten Cappy, and Alexandra Penfold—three women who do the hard work, day in and day out, because it's worth it.