President Taft Is Stuck In The Bath

In preparation for this review, I've put on a few pounds.  Okay, I'm lying... but do you think my wife will fall for it? 

*Author Mac Barnett took (arguably) the funniest Presidential anecdote of all time and deftly made it memorable for even the smallest of Americans
*Meanwhile, Chris Van Dusen's illustrations do a great job of presenting an already humorous situation in an age-appropriate style without sacrificing the accuracy of historical details (in the way he depicts things like President Taft's Cabinet or what a toilet looked like a century ago) 
*The inside jacket acts as the perfect tongue-in-cheek trailer for the story to come   

*Even though Mrs. Taft's idea ends up being the one that saves the day, it felt a little misogynistic to watch her husband ignore her input for the majority of the book (although I'm sure Barnett would argue that men of that era would have done that very thing)
*I'm sure most kids walk away from this book thinking that the President actually flew onto the White House lawn naked 
*Taft sure does say the word 'blast' a lot in here -- I'm hoping the writing team was unaware of this entry on Urban Dictionary 

As most of you know, one of the major reasons I started this blog was to identify stories that were entertaining for the whole family.  PTISITB definitely qualifies on this front.  [I especially enjoyed how they included an afterword devoted to what amounts to an evidentiary hearing about whether this event really occurred.  More than that, I liked how Barnett did not provide his own conclusion.]  Thus, despite some not insignificant cons, Taft is getting my vote for a Buy.  However, like the office of the man it highlights, I would not put him in the top half of my list of best ever in this category...                              

BUY / Borrow / Donate / Destroy

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