That’s Betty! The Story of Betty White by Gregory Bonsignore, illustrated by Jennifer M. Potter

Published by Henry Holt and Co.

Summary:  When the narrator gets assigned to do a project on a trailblazing woman, he chooses Betty White.  Not everyone is thrilled with his decision: his teacher and one of his dads keep asking, “Wouldn’t you rather choose someone more…traditional?”  But his mind is made up, and off he goes to the library to do his research.  A woman in sunglasses and a big hat gives him some help, adding some details about Betty’s early career as an actress and producer and continuing to her fame in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls.  His presentation turns out to be a smashing success, and the mysterious lady is there to cheer him on.  As the crowd in school watches her drive off in a red convertible, it suddenly dawns on them: “That’s Betty!”  Includes a timeline (which sadly ends with the 2022 entry “Betty turns 100 years old!”), photos, and a list of sources.  48 pages; grades 1-5.

Pros:  Appropriately, this picture book biography of Betty White is somewhat unconventional with a quirky cast of characters that includes Betty herself.  Clearly the book was written to coincide with the actress’s 100th birthday, and although she didn’t make it to that milestone, the book feels appropriately celebratory.

Cons:  This is a book that may be enjoyed more by adults than kids, who may not be familiar with Betty White and her acting career.

March 1, 2022 at 04:06PM Janet Dawson