George Orwell’s powerful prose and critical mind are on display in All Art Is Propaganda: Critical Essays (Harcourt, $25), critiquing art, literature, film, and popular culture. Wonderful pieces discussing Dickens, Swift, Chaplin, Greene, and Gandhi combine a cogent treatise on their use of language and image, while simultaneously marrying the work to the underpinnings of political, religious, and philosophical thought guiding them. Other pieces, such as “Good Bad Books” and “Confessions of a Book Reviewer,” show Orwell’s humorous side and voracious appetite for the written word in all forms, both high and low.
Acclaimed author and illustrator, Don Brown’s latest biographical picture book, Teedie: The Story Of The Young Teddy Roosevelt (Houghton Mifflin, $16.00) is an inviting, warm-hearted introduction to the youngest elected president of the United States. Engaging pen, ink and watercolor illustrations capture the spirit of this frail, asthmatic and timid boy. Roosevelt’s father recognized his strong mind and determination and encouraged him to overcome his physical weaknesses. From Harvard graduate to cowboy to elected official, Roosevelt’s many remarkable accomplishments are brought to life in this finely crafted volume. Ages 4-8.