When John and Caroline Lived in the White House: Picture Book

Laurie Coulter, Author, Julia Richardson, Editor Hyperion Books $19.99 (64p) ISBN 978-0-7868-0624-9
Kennedy devotees of all ages will pore over Coulter's (In the Kennedy Style) handsomely designed photo-essay on these celebrated siblings' lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Opening with the 1961 arrival of the first young family to inhabit the White House in 50 years, the narrative balances an objective perspective with the voices of Caroline, John and their parents, reconstructing conversations and musing on the children's reactions to events. The author also includes actual quotes (some excerpted from previously published works) by Kennedy friends and former White House staff members, ably tailoring her text to the target audience. Coulter focuses on such topics as the family pets and how the presidential family celebrated holidays, birthdays and vacation time. Sidebars offer contrast to the cozy goings-on in the White House, chronicling concurrent world events, including the space race, the Cold War, the civil rights movement and the Cuban missile crisis. Yet the highlight of this affecting chronicle is surely its copious selection of color and black-and-white photographs, which include familiar images and never-before-published shots; they range from formal portraits to family snapshots, reproduced with fraying edges for an effective, authentic look. Most endearing--and heartbreaking--are the numerous depictions of the president spending time with his clearly beloved offspring. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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