When you’re the president’s pet, who walks you, empties your litter box or scrapes off your perch?
Readers who hunger for information about the nonhumans who’ve lived at the White House over the years won’t learn the answer to those questions, but they will discover that all our chief executives but one, from Washington to Obama, have owned a variety of pets—and, in some cases, been owned by them. In addition to the familiar dogs, cats and birds, some unusual First Animals have included goats, mice, bears, zebras, hyenas, lions, snakes, rats and tigers. Another question that goes unanswered in this book is why the information about presidential pets is conveyed through verse—verse that’s not very good and frequently scans poorly at that; how appropriate that the word doggerel already exists, or it would have had to be coined just for this occasion. Brief details about each president’s life and term, a “Tell Me More!” feature with tidbits of trivia, and highlights of each president’s term in office supplement the pet facts. The two-page spreads include lively, humorous caricatures. The simplistic trivia items are generally interesting and amusing, but there are no sources to verify some of the statements.
Rhymes without reason and no reason for the rhymes. Strictly for browsers and skimmers. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)