Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 07/01/2008 K-Gr 3-A confident girl walks readers through a typical day at home and at school (Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary) as she fantasizes about herself as president. Her first executive order is for waffles. She then negotiates a treaty between a cat and dog and appoints a toy cabinet; Mr. Potato Head is a dapper Secretary of Agriculture. In decisive fonts, the Head of State vetoes tuna casserole and other schoolhouse aberrations. She "leads by example" when it's time to straighten up her bedroom, but wisely delegates an ambassador's visit to the VP as weariness sets in. Smith's understated text is accompanied by clean, cleverly designed compositions. The heroine's trapezoidal head and triangulated body are offset by stylized trees whose leaves are trimmed to float in perfect orbs. In what appears to be mixed media involving digital and hand-painted scenes as well as collage, the artist creates a '60s feel with earth-toned backgrounds that resemble the faux grass wallpaper so evocative of the period. Mid-20th-century games and presidential biographies for children are part of this fearless leader's paraphernalia. As in Smith's other spoofs, this book blends message with medium for maximum delight. Kathleen Krull's A Woman for President (Walker, 2004) and Jarrett Krosoczka's Max for President (Knopf, 2004) offer complementary glimpses at females and the Executive Branch. Hail to the chief!-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2008 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2008 Most kids merely dream what they’ll be when they grow up; Smith’s heroine Katy lives the fantasy, charging through her day as self-proclaimed President of the United States. Up before seven, she starts off with orders for the staff (concerning breakfast waffles), snags a photo op on the way to school (baffling an unsuspecting Boy Scout troop), negotiates a peace treaty (between a snarling dog and bristling cat), names her Cabinet (Mr. Potato Head is an able Secretary of Agriculture and a see-through anatomical model handles the Interior), and relies on her Secret Service (cat) to protect her from suspicious schoolmates. She wields her veto power in the school cafeteria, obfuscates her oral report with firm repetitions of “No comment,” and works her weary way home, only to find that her mother has alerted her to a disaster (in her messy room). Order restored, Katy’s pooped by eight and leaves her clown-faced, stuffed vice president (do we detect some social commentary here?) to deal with the Freedonian ambassador. There’s a richness to this zany picture book in its respect for big dreams—Katy is clearly inspired by the national heroes from Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony who populate her books and adorn her walls—and in its gentle nose-tweaking of the political milieu—what else would an aspiring woman president wear but a conservative pants suit? Katy is a square-jawed force to be reckoned with, by turns smug, determined, conciliatory, outraged, and sweetly childlike. That her classmates and offstage parents are oblivious to her esteemed office not only heightens the comedy but also underscores how little regard many citizens pay to the Chief Executive once the heat of election time has cooled. This is a must-have title that will unite both sides of the (lunchroom) aisle. EB - Copyright 2008 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

Booklist - 05/01/2008 *Starred Review* Whether the U.S. gets a woman president is still in doubt, but here a female narrator has already taken the role. In this sly, witty recitation of a president’s responsibilities, a ponytailed girl has the list down pat: give executive orders (to her cat); negotiate treaties (between said cat and dog); kiss babies; and veto, veto, veto. There’s no story, and the list of responsibilities does grow rather long. But the stretch can be forgiven because it provides more opportunity to enjoy Smith’s amazing artwork. Madam President, with her boxy head and triangular body appears against a variety of backgrounds—some plain white, others packed with interesting things—with disparate uses of materials and images that often give the look of collage. Particularly amusing is the two-page spread showing rows of cabinet secretaries inside a cabinet (e.g., a piggy-bank Secretary of the Treasury, a Mr. Potato Head Secretary of the Agriculture). Kudos to Molly Leach, whose design makes everything from the lettering to end pages look fabulous. Although there’s some winking at adults, this book is very much for kids, who might even come away having learned a bit about presidential duties. - Copyright 2008 Booklist.

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