IF THE WALLS COULD TALK by Jane O’Connor

IF THE WALLS COULD TALK

Family Life at the White House
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

Home sweet home to every president except Washington, the White House has become an emblematic backdrop to history, as well as an old house with a history of its own—and, for both reasons, has been regarded by its changing cast of residents with mixed feelings. O’Connor chronicles its tale with snippets of fact—“Martin Van Buren auctioned off furniture that he thought was ugly”—and sound bites placed around caricaturist Hovland’s cartoon gallery of bewhiskered or clean-shaven men, elegant or dumpy First Ladies, gap-toothed children, rats, pets, and livestock. A number key connects each figure to a caption, and each Chief Executive makes an encore appearance at the end to answer a common question, e.g., “President Taft, how many bathrooms are in the White House?” There are plenty of more systematic histories of House and Office both, but for readers who enjoy the quick-skim approach, this makes an apt companion for the likes of Judith St. George’s So You Want to Be President, illus. by David Small (2000) or Alice Provensen’s The Buck Stops Here (1990). (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-86863-4
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2004




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