Little Ike

Little Ike

Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Abilene Boyhood

by Roy Bird and illustrated by Gwen Battis


Recently featured in "Kansas Country Living" Magazine, Nov. 2013

Feature in Kansas Country Living Magazine, Nov. 2013

“Abilene is just another small town,” Little Ike told himself, “no different from all the others that dot the plains.” But it had not always been that way.

Little Ike: Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Abilene Boyhood is filled with memories of Dwight’s family, friends, and community about one of the best known and most beloved citizens of America is sure to delight.

This beautifully illustrated book about Eisenhower’s youth is more than a children’s picture book. It is filled with the rich biography of one of America’s most remembered presidents. Included is a section for older readers taking a deeper look into his entire career plus helpful references and Internet links for further research.

Written by Roy Bird, who grew up near Abilene while Dwight was president, he was steeped in Eisenhower lore. In the story, quotes are genuine from Eisenhower’s own book, letters, and other primary sources.

We are certain that Little Ike will become a highly regarded piece of presidential heritage about Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States.

Included in the book:

  • A full-color illustrated story of Little Ike from a young boy to the day he leaves for the U.S. Naval Academy at West Point, New York
  • A short collection of facts from his birth through his passing
  • Important dates ranging from 1890–1989
  • Books to read
  • Websites to navigate
  • Selected bibliography


A Very Readable Story About Our 34th President—Written for the young reader, I enjoyed this story about the boyhood of Dwight D. Eisenhower, our 34th President. Little Ike as Dwight was called (one of his brothers was called Big Ike) grew up in Abilene, Kansas in a family of boys. He lived a typical small town country boy’s life, getting into scraps, fishing, hunting, and loving sports so much he hoped to become an athlete. His family believed strongly in education, but being of modest means found it difficult to provide a higher education for all their sons. An excellent student, Ike applied for and succeeded in getting accepted to West Point which would give him a free education. Roy Bird ends the story with Ike leaving on the train for the US military academy in the East. A supplement to the story gives an overview of Ike’s life and various sources for more information.

front cover

front cover

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Price: $14.00 (softcover)


Price: $20.00 (hardcover)


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Roy Bird was born just south of Abilene, Kansas. Bird began writing professionally while still in college and has enjoyed a three-decade career. This is his 18th book about Kansas and the American West.

Roy is available for interviews, speaking engagements, and book signings. Email:

battis-gwenGwen Battis’ love of art began in childhood when she regularly exchanged picture-laden correspondence with her equally artistic cousin. She is mostly self-taught, working with graphite pencil. As an adult, she began to incorporate colored pencils, watercolor and pastels.

Gwen worked as Assistant and Director of the very same Silver Lake Library where J.A. McPhail was director.  After 10 years in Kansas and with their two sons in college, Gwen and her photographer husband, Rick, embarked on “The Great Adventure” of freelancing on the road, beginning with a fishing resort off the coast of Alaska and continuing to places they could hardly imagine.

Email the illustrator at:

ISBN: 978-0-9851196-5-2 (softcover); 978-0-9833971-1-3 (hardcover)

Binding: Saddle stitch (softcover); Gloss laminate (hardcover)

Trim Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: 32