In this rhyming, illustrated children’s book, a young girl goes to the White House for a field trip and makes an unscheduled visit to the kitchen.
Second-grader Bunny Romero, a recent immigrant to the United States from Mexico, is enjoying her grandmother’s Purim gifts of cookies and a book about the White House when she makes a vow: “Someday, I’m going to eat Nana’s hamantashen in the kitchen of this magnificent place!” Maybe then, she reflects, she’ll finally feel at home in America. Six months later, her teacher announces a class trip to the White House, which delights Bunny. She shows her younger brother a plan of the building, announcing that “the kitchen’s / The best of the bunch / ’Cause that’s where I’ll nosh on / My hamantash lunch!” On the school trip, there’s plenty to see, including the Blue, Green, and Red rooms. But the kitchen isn’t on the tour, so when it’s time to depart, Bunny decides to go off and find it for herself. A commotion ensues as everyone looks for the missing girl, who finds the kitchen and keeps her vow. She also trades some hamantashen for the White House chef’s apple pie and then meets a woman who turns out to be the president of the United States. The backmatter includes a blank “Dream Diary,” historical facts, and a recipe for hamantashen. Alongside the story of a girl’s bold adventure, Blumberg (Avram’s Gift, 2017, etc.) manages to emphasize the important role of immigrants in the United States’ history, writing in an introduction: “As the granddaughter of immigrants who adopted America as their home, I hope that people will always be welcomed and protected here.” The charming, full-color illustrations by Andriani (No Naptime for Janie!, 2017, etc.) underline this theme, showing diverse characters among the schoolchildren and White House dinner guests. A spirit of fun pervades the text and the pictures—in the latter, kids can, for example, look for symbols of Purim and Thanksgiving. There are gloomy stories that could be told about immigration, but celebration is the dominant mood in this book.
Funny, warm, and unreflective of the current White House.