Presidential Pets: The Weird, Wacky, Little, Big, Scary, Strange Animals That Have Lived in the White House

 
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Presidential Pets: The Weird, Wacky, Little, Big, Scary, Strange Animals That Have Lived in the White House

Beginning with George Washington and ending with Barak Obama, this look at the presidents focuses on their pets – some rather unusual.

On the left side of the two-page spread for each president, author Julia Moberg writes a short poem about the president and his pet and provides seven statistics about the president: his term of office, who the first lady was, the name of the vice-president, his political party, when and where the president was born, his occupation(s) before becoming president, and his nickname. A few “Tell Me More!” facts are included and finally three or four “Accomplishments & Events.” The right-hand page facing this historical information is a silly looking illustration of the president and/or his pets by Jeff Albrecht.

I wouldn’t recommend this book if you were looking to do serious reading about any particular president or his time in office. The enjoyment comes from finding out who owned what animals. (James Buchanan almost owned two elephants given to him by the King of Siam, but he politely declined the offer. Both John Quincy Adams and Herbert Hoover had alligators.)

I enjoyed the unusual look at the presidents, but I also wondered why the author included certain facts and tidbits. There wasn’t any explanation of some of the “Tell Me More!” factoids or “Accomplishments & Events” section either. It left me wondering how the author chose which ideas and events about the different presidents to highlight. But like I said, this book wasn’t written to use for serious research. Instead, it is an interesting and amusing book that can be easily picked up and put down without worries about keeping track of what you read.

Recommended by: Kate Stehman, Librarian, Pennsylvania USA

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