cover image Diana’s White House Garden

Diana’s White House Garden

Elisa Carbone, illus. by Jen Hill. Viking, $17.99 (44p) ISBN 978-0-670-01649-5

A 10-year-old living in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s White House finds a way to contribute to the WWII effort in Carbone’s (Heroes of the Surf) endearing picture book, based on a true story. Diana Hopkins, the ever-curious daughter of the president’s chief advisor, tries being a spy, an important sign-hanging official, and a fighter of enemies, all of which get her into trouble. (“She put pins in all the satin chairs in the Red Room, the Green Room, and the Blue Room. Sharp pins, sticking straight up. That would send enemies away in a hurry.”) When the president decides the White House needs its own Victory Garden, Diana jumps at the chance to help. Hill’s (Percy and TumTum) vignettes playfully depict Diana’s well-meaning mischief and her gardening work with Mrs. Roosevelt and the groundskeeper. The mixed-media illustrations, with their limited palette of muted grays, browns, and pinks, engender a warm, uplifting mood. An author’s note includes a photograph of a young Diana with Eleanor Roosevelt and offers more information about the success of the WWII Victory Garden movement. Ages 5–8. Illustrator’s agent: Anne Moore Armstrong, Bright Group. (May)