Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The White House: An Illustrated History

The White House: An Illustrated History

Catherine O'Neill Grace
For ages 14 and up
Scholastic , 2003   ISBN: 0439429714

The White House is definitely one of the most famous buildings in the United States, its façade being instantly recognizable by millions. It is also a symbol of American political power both at home and abroad, and it has been attacked a number of times because of this. Not only is it the home of the current President, but it also houses offices, rooms where VIPs are entertained, and it is a memorial to all those who have served as the American president.

The author begins this excellent and very beautiful book with a history of the building. She then goes on to describe what it is like to work in the White House. Throughout the book there are fascinating interviews with some of the people who have worked in this famous building. Among others we hear from the president’s photographer, the First Lady’s Press Secretary, the Chief Floral Designer, and the Horticulturalist and Pet Handler.

Next we see what it is like to plan, execute, and participate in a White House event. This is followed by the section that gives the reader the opportunity to tour the White House “Room by Room.”  Finally we are given a very inside view of what the family quarters of the White House are like. It is in this section for example that we meet some of the pets who have lived in the White House over the years.

After reading this book, readers will have a real sense of the historical importance of this lovely building. It is truly a place that has been touched by some of the greatest hands in human history.

Throughout the book readers will find spectacular photographs of the interior and exterior of the White House, its grounds, and its people. There are several fold-out pages that provide readers with a panoramic view of certain photographs.