A bit histrionic for easy belief, but meeting the president is always going to be a memorable moment, whoever’s holding the...

READ REVIEW

PATRICK AND THE PRESIDENT

It’s not every day that an Irish lad gets to shake hands with the president of the United States.

Recasting his 300-plus–page JFK in Ireland: Four Days that Changed a President (2011) into considerably briefer form, Tubridy commemorates John F. Kennedy’s 1963 visit to his ancestral country and hometown through the eyes of a (fictional) schoolboy. It’s one peak moment after another, as the news that Kennedy is coming to Wexford has Patrick’s dad and dog dancing around the kitchen while his mam sighs “I’m only dying to see him. He’s like something from the movies!” Patrick’s own class is selected to welcome the distinguished guest with a song, then later the two come face to face at a reception. Lynch captures the narrative’s fevered tone in splendidly realistic scenes of close-packed crowds and excited pale faces. Kennedy looks suitably tall, grand, and genial, and Patrick is the very picture of freckle-faced concentration as he slices a Swiss roll and offers it to the great man. “Don’t ever wash that lucky hand of yours!” says the boy’s mam after.

A bit histrionic for easy belief, but meeting the president is always going to be a memorable moment, whoever’s holding the office. (historical note with photos and itinerary) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8949-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The runt of the litter of print titles and websites covering the topic.

PRESIDENT ADAMS' ALLIGATOR

This tally of presidential pets reads like a school report (for all that the author is a journalist for Fox Business Network) and isn’t helped by its suite of amateurish illustrations.

Barnes frames the story with a teacher talking to her class and closes it with quizzes and a write-on “ballot.” Presidents from Washington to Obama—each paired to mentions of birds, dogs, livestock, wild animals and other White House co-residents—parade past in a rough, usually undated mix of chronological order and topical groupings. The text is laid out in monotonous blocks over thinly colored scenes that pose awkwardly rendered figures against White House floors or green lawns. In evident recognition that the presidents might be hard to tell apart, on some (but not enough) pages they carry identifying banners. The animals aren’t so differentiated; an unnamed goat that William Henry Harrison is pulling along with his cow Sukey in one picture looks a lot like one that belonged to Benjamin Harrison, and in some collective views, it’s hard to tell which animals go with which first family.

The runt of the litter of print titles and websites covering the topic. (bibliography, notes for adult readers) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-62157-035-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Patriot Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Each travelogue is narrated by a big sister, a device that deftly reveals the striking differences—and similarities—between...

WAGONS HO!

This spry outing contrasts parallel westward journeys of two families—one traveling by covered wagon in 1846, the other by car, trailer and moving van in a modern-day relocation.

Each travelogue is narrated by a big sister, a device that deftly reveals the striking differences—and similarities—between children in the two eras. Jenny says, “Our trip will take five months, from May to September. I’ve heard that some people die on the trail. I hope we survive the journey.” Katie journals, “Our trip will take five days, from Monday to Friday….All that driving—not to mention my brother driving me crazy the whole way. How will I survive?” The pioneering Johnsons must sell livestock and leave behind heavy furniture. Jenny and her brother Ned walk most of the way, leaving the jouncing wagon’s 4x10-foot interior for provisions. The Millers ship or stow most possessions and utilize hotels en route.  Children will respond to the emotions linking the children across time—Jenny must give away her beloved cat, while Katie observes “All I do is say goodbye.” Avril’s appealing illustrations combine cartoonish, kid-friendly sequencing and engaging details. Design elements that include split panels and contrasting typography highlight the dual experiences, while speech bubbles and chatty details unite them.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8075-8612-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more