October 14, 2017

Madam President by Lane Smith

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 11:20 pm by suebe2

Madam President
by Lane Smith
Hyperion Books for Children

A confident girl takes the reader through a “typical” day for Madam President.  It starts at home as she makes an executive order for waffles.  It continues through the school day as she vetoes tuna casserole.  Honestly, I would vote for this kid.


She leads by example as she picks up her room but also knows when to delegate, letting someone else take over a task when she is just too tired to do it well.  And her cabinet?  Oh, just too funny. Her piggy bank is Secretary of the Treasury and Mr. Potato Head is Secretary of Agriculture.  Smith’s trademark humor comes into play because there is also a Secretary of Fantasy and a Secretary of Pizza.  Makes sense!


As is so often the case with Lane’s books, the text is spare and the punch is in the illustrations.  The look on the Boy Scouts faces when she pops in for a photo-op is priceless!

Unlike many picture books, this one is story light.  But that’s okay because Lane makes it work.  Young readers will come away from this with a much better understanding of everything that a president does.

Somehow I managed to assume that this was a very recent book, but it is 2008.  In spite of this, the book is both timely and timeless.  Madam President must attend to disasters and make sure that things get cleaned up – a task that she takes on herself instead of passing it on to an underling.  Of course, her desire to negotiate a treaty when no one asked her to butt in is a bit too American as well but that’s the beauty of Smith’s work.  He is willing to point out all manner of things, some that you appreciate and some that you might rather forget.

Definitely a good book to spark discussions as to what a president does, how they should behave and more.  Share this one with the young reader in your life today and sit down for a long chat!


November 9, 2011

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 11:18 pm by suebe2

Grandpa Green
by Lane Smith
Roaring Brook Press
AR 2.5

Great-grandpa was born a really long time ago.  He grew up on a farm full of animals.  Read all kinds of great books when he had chicken pox and wanted to study horticulture, but a war got in the way.

Pulling a wagon full of gardening gear, the young narrator tells us all about great-grandpa’s life as demonstrated through an amazing collection of topiary.  As he moves through the garden, he finds a forgotten picnic, a lost pair of glasses and a hat and, finally, great-grandpa himself.

Lane, best known for colorful illustrations and a wacky sense of humor, tells a gentle tale of family, aging and memory — both keeping it and loosing it.  The young narrator clearly adores his great-grandfather and the garden he has created, a garden we fully expect the narrator to maintain in the future.

Better for cuddling and bed time reading than a rollicking story time, this book would be a great one for a parent or grandparent to share with a young child.  Or even for one adult to give to another.

Sweet, but not overly so, and touching, this one is sure to find a place of honor on many a bookshelf.

See why in this trailer.




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