cover image First Family

First Family

Deborah Hopkinson, , illus. by AG Ford. . HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-189680-4

The creators of Michelle widen their focus in this affectionate portrait of the Obamas. After describing the family's move into the White House and the various purposes that building serves, the book touches on details of the first family's daily lives. Readers will find much of the information familiar: Malia and Sasha make their own beds and walk their dog, Bo; the president and Michelle work out at the White House gym; the first lady visits schools and serves as White House hostess. Fresher tidbits include the family members' Secret Service code names and the fact that the president's desk is made of oak from a British ship. Hopkinson adds some gratuitous filler (“It's rewarding to eat a salad made with lettuce from your own garden”) and heaps praise on Michelle (“With her winning smile, ready laugh, and big hugs, Michelle has warmth, glamour, and charm”). Though Ford's likenesses are recognizable and consistent, several images have a stilted wax museum quality, and the Obamas' heads sometimes have uneasy relationships to their bodies. Additional White House trivia wraps up the volume. Ages 4–7. (Jan.)