Reviews for President's Stuck in the Bathtub : Poems about the Presidents


Booklist Reviews 2012 January #1
Katz's nod to presidential foibles arrives just in time for Presidents' Day and the upcoming election cycle. In humorous yet informative rhymes, she explains that Washington never slept in the White House, John Quincy Adams often skinny-dipped in the Potomac, Herbert Hoover and his wife avoided eavesdroppers by conversing in Chinese, and William Howard Taft (at 350 pounds) required a special bathtub. Although admittedly trivial, these sorts of details are just the kind to pique young readers' interests. The poems exhibit wide diversity (concrete, alliterative, free verse, quatrains), and each is accompanied by a footnote explaining the verse's context and a cartoon-style illustration. Neubecker's artwork, rendered in India ink with digital color, is full of interesting details; the title spread, for example, features an enormous, hairy Taft being extricated by four determined aides. Appended with a list of presidential notes and quotes, this is sure to be popular; pair with Kathleen Krull's Lives of the Presidents (1998) or Judith St. George's So You Want to Be President? (2000). Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
In forty-three poems, Katz gives each of our U.S. presidents their due, with footnotes providing a more complete discussion of the highlighted event or character trait. Neubecker's illustrations emphasize the playful tone without deconstructing the verse. Appended is a list of presidents with their dates in office; birth and death dates; nicknames; a "first" accomplishment of the man or office; and a famous quote.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #3
In forty-three poems, Katz gives each Copyright 2012 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2011 November #2
This gathering of presidential foibles and fancies covers the gamut, from George W. the First to Barack. Each is set as either a poem (rhymed and free verse) or a prose poem, and all display a handling of language that both is comfortable and exhibits a certain degree of flash. Of one-eyed James Buchanan: "So he cocked his head to focus. / He could tilt his view toward a distant star, / ogle an ash on a nearby cigar, / or peer halfway to Zanzibar. / Was there anything he didn't notice?" Neubecker's illustrations are wonderful puddles of colorful personality, true to the text but amplifying it (or further poking a sharp stick into the presidential eye). The only concern here is that some of the presidential tics are a bit dull. Of course, no one will deny the import of blubbery William Howard Taft wedging himself into the White House tub and needing a team of assistants to extricate him. Or T. Jefferson the inventor, J.Q. Adams the skinny dipper or Z. Taylor's nearly missing the presidency for want of a stamp. But that J. Adams was chubby, J. Madison was small and M. Fillmore is forgotten? There's little to spark even a muted guffaw or a sympathetic nod. In the end, however, they all testify to something important: Presidents are only men (so far, anyway) and capable of every mortal weakness and weirdness. (Picture book/poetry. 6-9) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 February #4

Katz takes playful swings at U.S. presidents in poems as funny as they are informative, while Neubecker provides careful caricatures. Her entry for Jimmy Carter details his encounter with a "swamp rabbit": "Jimmy Carter fished on his pond./ The day was fair, the water calm,/ When suddenly nearby something splashed./ Nostrils flared. Teeth flashed." The titular poem stars William Howard Taft ("In the midst of his bath,/ Poor President Taft/ Discovered the tub didn't fit him"), and a closing poem about Obama addresses his opponents' tendency to joke about his name: "He jested that some even called him Yo Mama." An unexpected and diverting look at presidents past and present. Ages 6-9. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick and Pratt Agency. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 February

Gr 3-6--Katz presents humorous poems about each of the U.S. presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama. The poems are of various forms, including concrete, rhyming, and free verse. The mostly clever and amusing selections are based on facts or true incidents, and the author adds a brief footnote that gives extra background about each administration. Some of the facts are similar to those found in Jane O'Connor's If the Walls Could Talk: Family Life at the White House (S & S, 2004) or Judith St. George's So You Want to Be President (Philomel, 2000), but there is also some new information. For example, Katz states that John Adams wanted to be addressed as "His Majesty," and James Monroe once threatened his Secretary of the Treasury with fireplace tongs. This book disagrees with O'Connor's account as to who was the first president to put up a Christmas tree in the White House, reflecting disagreement by scholars on the topic. Neubecker's colorful cartoons highlight the humor and add subtle details that help make each man recognizable. This is a good supplement for those who already own O'Connor's and St. George's books and want additional materials about the presidents at this reading level.--Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT

[Page 142]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 September
Gr 1-4-All 43 commanders-in-chief receive an individual poetic dousing in this lighthearted romp through our leaders' foibles, gaffes, embarrassments, and other unusual biographical details. Colorful, kinetic illustrations complement the spunky collection, and a brief explanatory note is appended to each poem. A fun supplement or lead-in to presidential biographies. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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