Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Book Review: Gigi at the White House (children's literature)

Can I just say YAY that it's Friday eve eve ? Because this week has been rough. Tomorrow and Friday we have a bunch of things going on, but Pep finishes soccer this weekend, and apparently I'm carpool for Olivia and a boy this weekend. So you know, they are all out living their best life and I'm just reading in my car. I mean, good news is I'll hopefully finish up a couple of books I've been working through, but I also wouldn't hate doing that with snacks in bed either, you know? 

Gigi at the White House! - Giovanna McBride

Many children have at least one special opportunity to visit their parents at work, and this was true for Gigi McBride whose mother had a very unique job—she worked at the White House. During the George W. Bush administration, Gigi had many adventures visiting her mother Anita McBride,Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush. Now that she is a college student with a love of children's literature, she decided to share her special memories of her visits to the White House from 2005 to 2009 when she was 4 to 8 years old. She hopes that the book will encourage children to learn more about the White House and life as lived there. With illustrations by artist John Hutton, this book features Gigi's favorite stories of the fun she had exploring the White House at the Easter Egg Roll, Fourth of July, Halloween, and Christmas, and the friends that she made, including First Lady Laura Bush, the Secret Service, the White House Pastry Chefs, and the White House florist.

This title is the third in a continuing series of children's books launched by the White House Historical Association in 2020 with A White House Alphabet and Presidents Play!
I'm a big fan of children's literature so anytime I get to review one, it's pretty great. I read this one to Penelope and Lucy, and though they are still pretty young and don't really understand what Presidents are and what the White House is, they enjoyed this one. They also asked me why we can't go to the Easter Egg Roll, and I had to explain to them that we don't live anywhere near there and it isn't like a "come one, come all" kind of thing. I mean, that would be a LOT of eggs. 

The book follows Gigi as she recalls all of her favorite things to do and see at the White House. She was a pretty lucky kid to have had all of the opportunities she did, but her mother was also the Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush and was able to visit between the ages of 4 and 8, the age range my youngest daughters fall into. It's a fast read, and my kindergartner-going into first grade kiddo could read a lot of the words herself, so this would definitely make a fun first reader book. 

The illustrations throughout are done by John Hutton, and they are pretty great on their own. The faces of people throughout are SO well done that you can tell who they are without having to drop names. I also really loved that the inside covers has the portraits of all 46 Presidents- the girls had a real fun time trying to mimic their faces (Franklin Roosevelt looks like he's being electrocuted, it's easily my favorite one). I also didn't know the White House had its own flower shop, and for some reason, I had no idea it had a pool. To be fair, I've never been on a tour of the White House so maybe if I had I would have known that. But overall it's a cute overlook at what it might be like to be a child within the White House. 

Thank you to The White House Historical Association for sending me a copy for review. 

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