From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 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
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*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. Grades K-2. --Ilene Cooper