Tubridy, Ryan and P.J. Lynch Patrick and the President. PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick Press, 2017. $16.99. Content: G.
Its 1963 and President John F. Kennedy has announced he will be returning to his ancestral homeland, Ireland, for an official visit. A young schoolboy, Patrick, is beyond excited for the opportunity to possibly meet this famous man. His school sings at JFK's arrival, and later he serves the US President at a tea party. He gets to actually shake President Kennedy's hand, and that moment is a story his family holds tight to and tells about for years and years to come.
This historical fiction picture book sticks closely to the actual story of President Kennedy's trip to Ireland, but the boy at the heart of the story--Patrick--is apparently entirely fictionalized. I think it would have been a better book had Patrick's story actually been true. The illustrations have a realistic look to them and there is a lot of text on every page--making this book a hard sell for any sort of read aloud or for younger readers. Even from a history standpoint, there is little here that could be used in a classroom setting. Kennedy's trip to Ireland happened, but outside of Ireland it’s not as compelling. I think this book will be appealing and popular to those who have Irish ancestry, and perhaps for those looking for an unique story about President Kennedy, but will have little general interest.
EL--OPTIONAL. Reviewer: TC