Wednesday, March 13, 2013

President Adams' Alligator: And Other White House Pets by Peter W. Barnes, Betty Shepard

Did you know President John Quincy Adams had a pet alligator? He kept it in the bathtub in the East Room of the White House. But President Adams wasn’t the only commander-in-chief with an unusual pet. Along with a menagerie of dogs, cats, horses, and birds, presidents and their families also had pet snakes, raccoons, bears, cows, mice, and more. Meet Thomas Jefferson’s mockingbird, Dick, who ate from the president’s mouth; Warren Harding’s dog, Laddie Boy, who was served a birthday cake made of dog biscuits; and Teddy Roosevelt’s pony, Algonqiun, who rode up the White House elevator. President Adam’s Alligator teaches children about the presidency through pets of the presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama.

About Peter and Cheryl Barnes


Peter and Cheryl Barnes are a husband and wife writing / illustrating team specializing in educational books for children. They are creators of more than a dozen books, many of which have been featured on numerous top-tier TV and radio shows including The Today Show, C-Span’s Book TV, National Public Radio, and in prominent print outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Roll Call, Washington Times, and Child Magazine.
Cheryl and Peter’s books have won numerous national and regional book awards including the 2010 USA Book New Best Book Award, the National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Book for Young People Award, and the Distinguished Authors for a Body of Work Award from the Capital Books Festival. As the owners of VSP Books, the Barnes’s also published the New York Times bestsellers Heartsongs and Journey through Heartsongs by Mattie Stepanek, a young poet with muscular dystrophy whose friendship with Oprah Winfrey catapulted him to international prominence.
Cheryl is an illustrator with a background in architecture and is Creative Director of Little Patriot Press. Peter is a journalist who currently works for Fox Business Network. He has also reported for CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and other news organizations. They have two grown children and one grandchild and live in Alexandria, Virginia.

My Review: 

What a delightful time we, my 5 and 7 year old Grandsons, had reading this. We snuggled down in a large chair together holding this beautifully illustrated book.
The facts they learned in this book are some of the things that will linger with them for a life time. In the end the 7 year old wanted a dog, but of course the little one thought that an alligator would make a great pet. Yeah right!
Not only did they learn about the different pets the Presidents had, but they were able to learn a bit about the different Presidents. They both knew who the first President was, but now we have added to their knowledge.
As we finished the page the hunt was on for the hidden alligator, what fun, and it wasn't always the oldest that found it. They also learned about cows, and horses living at the House, they were surprised, but soon realized that there were no cars back in the early days.
What a great learning lesson for them. We will be rereading this again and again. This book is a keeper for them!

I received this book from Regnery Publishing, Inc., and was not required to give a positive review.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great book to read with the grandchildren.