From School Library Journal
Grade 1-5–Kennedy's introduction to the political process is clear, informative, and loaded with child appeal, in part due to the choice of narrator: his Portuguese Water Dog, Splash. This canine bundle of friendly, panting fun takes readers on a tour of monuments and then describes a typical day: staff discussion of an education bill, a ride in the underground tram between the Senate and the Capitol, a press conference, a committee meeting, and a floor vote. Children will appreciate Splash's joy at the snacks and time for outdoor catch along the way, as well as the strategic Woof when the committee reaches an impasse on the bill. While the swift and tidy resolution is clearly fictional, the actual process is rendered memorable through the presentation. Small's shifting perspectives capture the shimmering lights viewed from a moving tram, the glory of the soaring Capitol rotunda, the heartfelt affection in a beloved dog's eyes. Back matter includes information about Kennedy, Splash, and how a bill becomes a law. With its multicultural cast, nonpartisan viewpoint, and protagonist brimming with personality, this look inside the Beltway is a first choice for classrooms, tourists, and animal lovers everywhere.–Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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Gr. 2-4. In this high-spirited if low-angled trot through the congressional halls of power, Splash (a Portuguese water dog, for those who dote on such details) follows his senatorial companion (who looks a lot like Senator Kennedy) through a typical day. Interspersed with such highlights as a romp on the Capitol's lawn and a ride on the underground tram that runs between the Capitol and the office building, the day features a press conference, photo ops, a heated conference committee discussion about an education bill, and an important vote. In sketchy watercolor views of, first, the puppy farm, and, later, the Capitol Hill area, Caldecott winner Small tones down his customary caricatures (though not entirely) to match the narrative's light, amiable tone. Capped by a precis of the legislative process, this book is a natural companion for Judith St. George's So You Want to
Be President (2000). John PetersCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved