Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Taft in the Bath

Perhaps you've heard the story of our 27th president, William Howard Taft, and how he once got himself stuck in a bathtub. No one is quite certain that this story is true (though there are published news stories of Taft once overflowing a bathtub in a hotel, wherein the water then trickled down onto the diners in the dining hall). Well, true or not, consider adding President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath to your list of Presidents' Day picture books. :)

Published in 2014 (Candlewick) and written by Mac Barnett (highly talented author of Extra Yarn, Leo: a Ghost Story, The Terrible Two series, and more), President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath imagines what might have transpired the day that the Chief Executive found himself unable to get out of his bath. Taft calls in members of his cabinet to help find a solution: the vice president is ready to be sworn in as president, the secretary of agriculture suggests an enormous vat of butter to grease him out, and the secretary of war suggests dynamite. Ultimately, it is the First Lady who comes up with a solution.

This book is filled with humor, old-timey colloquialisms, and history. And beyond being simply a fun and playful tale, kids will also learn about the various members of the president's cabinet and what they do. Win-win.

I especially like the author's note at the end that details "Some Facts Pertaining to President Taft and Bathtubs." Apparently he really liked a good soak.


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