cover image President Pennybaker

President Pennybaker

Kate Feiffer, , illus. by Diane Goode. . S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-1354-2

Adding to the slate of presidential-election titles, Feiffer’s (Henry the Dog with No Tail ) spirited picture book introduces a fresh-faced candidate, plucky Luke Pennybaker. Fed up with the blatant unfairness at home (no TV time, even after he’s done his chores), Luke and his running mate, Lily the dog, represent the Birthday Party, espousing a platform of messy rooms all around as well as cake, ice cream and pets for everyone. When their message (“Be fair!”) catches on, Luke and Lily find themselves in the White House (painted orange at Luke’s request)—which may not be ideal after all. Goode’s (Baby Face ) airy, pale-hued watercolors cleverly set the context. Seemingly realistic, the illustrations are blithely anachronistic, mixing black-and-white TVs, sputtering jalopies, a 1940s police uniform and knee-length boys’ trousers—a faux-historical setting just right for a tale framed as “the story of how Luke Pennybaker became the youngest boy ever to run for president.” The line between fantasy and real-world politics stays clear, leaving readers free to enjoy the fun. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)