Sunday, November 02, 2008

Madam President

Madam President by Lane Smith. Hyperion Books, 2008. Copy supplied by publisher. Picture Book.

The Plot:
A young girl imagines her life as President of the United States.

The Good:
Some of my favorite (fictional) Presidents are women. President Powers. President Roslin (OK, not President of the US. But still.) And now Katy, who not only wants to be President -- she lives her life as if she were President. She's confident.

Katy explains, "A president must tackle press conferences gracefully."

A blackboard says, "oral reports today," while Katy brings her own presidential podium to the front of the room as her teacher and classmates look on. Then she begins, "That's top secret. No comment. I'll get back to you on that. I won't digntify that question with a response. C'mon, Tiffany, get real! No comment. Let me think about that. I know you are, but what am I? Next question. No comment!" The font varies in size, so you can sense Katy's response. And I love the working into it of "I know you are, but what am I?"

Smith's illustrations are engaging. Katy is a mix of girl and President, with her teeth brushing and cat, yet wearing a presidential outfit. (Katy's name is not mentioned -- she is The President, after all -- but you can read it on a note her mother leaves her.)

I have the most fun looking at the background details in pictures like the bedroom. It's not just about Presidents -- it's all US History. Our President is a non-fiction fan. Posters of Susan B. Anthony and Revolutionary War flags, plus a Mr. Potato Head (she sitll is a kid!) and books on Frederick Douglas, Theodore Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

This isn't a wordy book; but it is a picture book for older readers, who will get the references and chuckle at Madam President's press conference.

Links:
Madam President Event Kit (PDF, from publisher)
Jen Robinson's Book Page review (with links to other reviews)

1 comment:

Libby said...

This is my favorite "kids in office" picturebook--I just wrote about it in my column, in fact. I love the books and posters in her room!

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