The Emperor's Silent Army ) anecdotal, chronological ru"/>

IF THE WALLS COULD TALK: Family Life at the White House

Jane O'Connor, Author, Gary Hovland, Illustrator , illus. by Gary Hovland. S&S/Wiseman $16.95 (48p) ISBN 978-0-689-86863-4

A real estate ad for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on the opening page sets the tone of O'Connor's (The Emperor's Silent Army ) anecdotal, chronological rundown of the White House's inhabitants, highlighting facts and trivia related to the residence. In his picture-book debut, editorial cartoonist Hovland creates impressive likenesses of the Commanders-in-Chief, whether one per page, or several to a spread, and incorporates many of their quotes about their home, both admiring and pejorative ("It's a glamorous prison," quipped Harry Truman) in cartoon-like speech balloons. The author cites both milestones—the White House burned down during James Madison's presidency; Rutherford B. Hayes installed the first telephone ("Our phone number was 1," announces his wife)—and lighthearted tidbits: William McKinley's wife banned the color yellow from the residence; JFK had the lawn spray-painted green if it looked dry when expecting important guests. Hovland bolsters the text's spirited humor with his jovial caricatures and cheerful scenarios; one especially comical scene pictures large-scale William Taft carrying a triple-decker sandwich and climbing into an enormous bathtub with two rubber duckies. The account is light on contemporary presidents (the latest six share one spread) and some toss-off remarks will puzzle younger readers (e.g., "There were may scandals while Harding was president"), but O'Connor compiles much entertaining and amusing information, sure to send aspiring historians off to seek more. Ages 6-9. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/13/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.