Jefferson Measures a Moose

Illustrator: S. D. Schindler

Binding: Hardcover

Imprint: Candlewick Press

Age 6+

Children's & Young Adult: General Non-Fiction

The author of Mesmerized shares another comical true tale of a Founding Father using science to defeat ignorance and stop the spread of false information.

Thomas Jefferson was wild about numbers. He was constantly counting, measuring, and observing things that caught his interest. He loved sharing his discoveries and reading the discoveries of others. But when a famous Frenchman published a book about America, Jefferson was appalled: all the information in the book was wrong. The author insisted that America was a wretched, dismal place, where birds could not sing, dogs could not bark, and everything and everyone was puny and weak. Thomas Jefferson resolved to set the record straight — with numbers — and prove to the world that the new nation was worthy of investment. But how do you show that a country is plentiful in an age when photography hasn’t been invented yet? Mara Rockliff, master of children’s nonfiction, details another little-known moment in math and natural history, illustrated with humor by prolific artist S. D. Schindler and accompanied by extensive back matter and an informative author’s note.


Mara Rockliff is the author of many books for children, including the picture books Mesmerized, an Orbis Pictus Honor Book; Doctor Esperanto and the Language of Hope; Around America to Win the Vote; Anything But Ordinary Addie; Chik Chak Shabbat; and Me and Momma and Big John, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book and Golden Kite Award winner. She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with her family.

S. D. Schindler has illustrated dozens of books for children, including the Catwings series by Ursula K. Le Guin, Hornbooks and Inkwells by Verla Kay, Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman, Every Living Thing by Cynthia Rylant, and Brother Hugo and the Bear by Katy Beebe. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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