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

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

Rappaport makes this long struggle palpable and relevant, while Faulkner adds a winning mix of gravitas and high spirits.

ELIZABETH STARTED ALL THE TROUBLE

Rappaport examines the salient successes and raw setbacks along the 144-year-long road between the nation’s birth and women’s suffrage.

This lively yet forthright narrative pivots on a reality that should startle modern kids: women’s right to vote was only achieved in 1920, 72 years after Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. Indeed, time’s passage figures as a textual motif, connecting across decades such determined women as Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone. They spoke tirelessly, marched, organized, and got arrested. Rappaport includes events such as 1913’s Women’s Suffrage Parade in Washington, D.C., but doesn’t shy from divisive periods like the Civil War. Faulkner’s meticulously researched gouache-and-ink illustrations often infuse scenes with humor by playing with size and perspective. As Stanton and Lucretia Mott sail into London in 1840 for the World Anti-Slavery Conference, Faulkner depicts the two women as giants on the ship’s upper deck. On the opposite page, as they learn they’ll be barred as delegates, they’re painted in miniature, dwarfed yet unflappable beneath a gallery full of disapproving men. A final double-page spread mingles such modern stars as Shirley Chisholm and Sonia Sotomayor amid the historical leaders.

Rappaport makes this long struggle palpable and relevant, while Faulkner adds a winning mix of gravitas and high spirits. (biographical thumbnails, chronology, sources, websites, further reading, author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7868-5142-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

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
more