If You Want a Friend in Washington: Wacky, Wild & Wonderful Presidential Pets
If You Want a Friend in Washington: Wacky, Wild & Wonderful Presidential Pets
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Annotation: A clever, funny, and informative look at the pets--from Calvin Coolidge's wallaby to Teddy Roosevelt's flying squirrels-... more
Catalog Number: #206963
Format: Library Binding
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 44
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-593-12270-4
ISBN 13: 978-0-593-12270-9
Dewey: 636
Language: English
Reviews:
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A highly entertaining catalog of presidential pets and other White House animals.An apocryphal remark by Harry S. Truman observes, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Why? Because, “As the president you are in charge of the WHOLE of the United States of America,” and “Citizens might not agree with your opinions, ideas, or political party.” While there have been over 100 dogs belonging to presidents and their families, an astonishing variety of other animals have been quartered at the White House. Both Calvin Coolidge’s wife, Grace, and Theodore Roosevelt’s family had quite a few. The names of members of presidential menageries are entertaining, from Boston Beans Coolidge (dog) to Misty Malarky Ying Yang Carter (cat) to Mooly Wooly Taft (cow) to Emily Spinach Roosevelt (snake). Andrew Jackson’s foulmouthed parrot makes an appearance along with the tigers given to Martin Van Buren (they were confiscated and given to a zoo). A gift of elephants to James Buchanan never arrived, but both John Quincy Adams and Herbert Hoover supposedly had alligators. The dozens of expressive, brightly colored, shaggy, scaly, toothy creatures in McGill’s charming cartoon illustrations seem to radiate good humor and cheerfulness. Backmatter names the pets belonging to every president (only James K. Polk and Donald Trump had no animals at all) and offers additional facts. Endpapers feature black-and-white photos of animals belonging to eight former commanders in chief.Great, fascinating, lighthearted fun. (additional facts, selected sources) (Informational picture book. 3-9)
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School Library Journal Starred Review
School Library Journal
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3
Lexile: 920L

A clever, funny, and informative look at the pets--from Calvin Coolidge's wallaby to Teddy Roosevelt's flying squirrels--that have passed through the White House gates. Perfect for fans of I Am George Washington and So You Want to Be President?

President Truman famously said, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." And a dog is what many presidents got. From James Garfield to Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, presidents often found a friend in Fido (in fact, Abe Lincoln's pup was actually named Fido). Others preferred cats, horses, small critters, or even big, ferocious animals like bears and alligators. With a catchy refrain ("If you want a friend in Washington . . . , "), this is a funny, educational book about the animals that have passed through the White House. Whether it's favorite dogs like Barbara Bush's Millie or the Obamas' Bo; Abraham Lincoln's cat, Dixie; Calvin Coolidge's hippo, Billy; or Andrew Jackson's foul-mouthed parrot, Poll, Erin McGill brings to life a menagerie of presidential pets in this entertaining, whimsical, and carefully researched picture book that's perfect for animal lovers and history buffs alike.


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