Another nonfiction picture book that I enjoyed only because the Cybils Nonfiction Picture Book finalist list prompted me to find it is Barbara Kerley's The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy), illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. This biography builds itself around topics his daughter Susy wrote in her journal, encouraged by her father. So the text includes both frequent quotes by Susy (I assume the bolded words in quotation marks are from her) and small inserts in the form of tiny books that contain larger quotes from her journal. It was too bad that these extracts were printed in a cursive font, which my fourth grader can read but doesn't enjoy, but as we read the book together I took most of the cursive writing while he read the printed copy. My
The illustrations help jolly along the text, giving bold and giant sized pictures that played with size and perspective. We had fun reading it, but it didn't really stick afterward; I think it took us two or three nights because bedtime starts so late when the sun forgets to start setting until long after dinner.