Thursday, May 8, 2014

President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath by Mac Barnett -- ADVISABLE

Barnett, Mac President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick Press, 2014. $16.99. Content: PG.

While it has never been proven, legend has it that President Taft was so large that he once got stuck in his bathtub. This book explores what might have happened that day -- provided it actually did happen, that is.

Although the book aims for humor over accuracy, the first page does introduce Taft's other accomplishments, while an author's note at the end explains the mythology of the bathtub story and outlines many other facts about President Taft. The illustration of Taft's barely-concealed naked bottom as he is flung out the window is just scandalous enough for hilarity, without being inappropriate for the classroom. Some of the more-sophisticated humor may go over younger students' heads, however, making this one more appropriate in the older elementary grades, or even in middle school.  This would be a fun, funny introduction to units on presidents or on folk legends and tall tales.

EL -- ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Caryn

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