Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

President Pennybaker

President Pennybaker

Kate Feiffer
Illustrator:   Diane Goode 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2012   ISBN: 978-1416913559

Luke Pennybaker is feeling very disgruntled. Even though he has done his chores and all the other things his father asked him to do, Luke’s father still won’t let him watch the television. How unfair! Luke decides that it is up to him “to make life fair,” and the way to do this is for him to win the upcoming presidential election.

Luke begins by winning over the children in his school. His promise “to make life fair” in terms that the children can appreciate quickly wins their support. Luke sets up his campaign headquarters in his yard, and names his dog Lily as his vice presidential candidate. Posters are made and Luke starts raising funds. Everywhere he goes during the summer he makes speeches, and when he is interviewed by a reporter in New Hampshire, Luke announces that he is in the “Birthday Party.” At another campaign stop in Iowa, Luke tells his audience that the first thing he will do when he becomes president is to “Paint the White House orange.” Luke gets so caught up in the excitement that he never once considers what it would really be like to be America’s youngest president.

All too often, when we get a bee in our bonnet about something, we get carried away. This is just what happens to Luke in this story, and it is very amusing to see what happens when Luke’s wish comes true.

With tongue in cheek humor and a delicious understanding of the things that children care about, the author of this book tells a story that every child who has thought “it’s not fair” will appreciate and enjoy.