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President and Mom's Apple Pie

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It's 1909, and the President of the United States is coming to town! The streets are packed with people waiting for a glimpse of jolly President William Howard Taft. But when his train finally pulls into the station, Taft is more interested in chasing the delicious smell that is wafting on a summer breeze than in dedicating the town's new flagpole. A boy steps forward and offers to guide Taft through the town to find what he's looking for. Join the President as he follows his nose this way and that, sniffing out ...

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Overview

It's 1909, and the President of the United States is coming to town! The streets are packed with people waiting for a glimpse of jolly President William Howard Taft. But when his train finally pulls into the station, Taft is more interested in chasing the delicious smell that is wafting on a summer breeze than in dedicating the town's new flagpole. A boy steps forward and offers to guide Taft through the town to find what he's looking for. Join the President as he follows his nose this way and that, sniffing out all of the best food on Main Street. It is a delicious journey!

When President William Howard Taft arrives in town, he finds that the cheering crowd pales in comparison to a delicious smell wafting on the summer breeze.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Accompanied by bright, stylized computer artwork, this story imagines President Taft pausing on a 1909 whistle-stop tour to dedicate a small town's flagpole but getting sidetracked by a tantalizing aroma. Calling this a "campy but agreeable yarn," PW's review said that "the setting, wreathed in classic Americana, radiates nostalgia." Ages 4-up. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A young boy recalls the exciting day in 1909 when President William Howard Taft arrives in his town to dedicate a new flagpole. The visit is imaginary, but it is based on what we know of the food-loving president. Tantalized by an enticing aroma, Taft allows our hero to lead him from one delicious local treat to another, as the crowd and the band follow along. The final tummy pleaser, mom's pie, and the accompanying excitement at its discovery, bring this slice of turn-of-the-century American life to a lip-smacking close. The visual story is filled with the buildings of the small town and its scores of stylized, seemingly computer-polished citizens in appropriate period dress. But it's the very rotund president, leading across the double pages, who is the center of the happy action. Factual historic information on Taft is included. 2002, Dutton Children's Books/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-As the 27th president of the United States, William Howard Taft weighed more than 300 pounds and is sometimes remembered more for the size of his appetite than for his political ambitions. Told by a young boy, this good-natured spoof relates the events of a visit by Taft to small-town America at the turn of the century. The president is barely off the train before a delicious aroma propels him down Main Street in search of its source. Of course, the whole town, including the mayor and marching band, follows along in hot pursuit. In a tribute to cultural diversity, Taft stops at the town's local restaurants sampling culinary delights at "Tony's Italian Villa," "Big Ed's Barbecue," and "Mrs. Wong's Hunan Palace" but no meal satisfies him completely. Finally, Taft follows his nose to the child's house where mom's apple pie is cooling on the kitchen windowsill. After a hysterical encounter with the mother, her clothesline, and a rescued pie, Taft sits down to tea. Full-color comical illustrations capture the intended silliness with ease, and Garland's very round Taft practically rolls down the street with glee. Younger readers will simply enjoy the chase, but an older audience might be prompted to investigate the authenticity of early 20th-century, small-town diversity and Taft's presidential accomplishments.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This enjoyable tidbit of historical time will no doubt have kids remembering William Howard Taft, 27th president of the US, for at least one thing: his size (over 300 pounds) and his love for food, thanks to the jolly, rotund depictions of the balloon-shaped man. A young boy remembers the day in 1909 when President Taft came to his town to dedicate the new flagpole. The crowd cheered and the Firemen's Band played when the train whooshed into the station and the portly president squeezed himself out the door. Before he reached the flagpole, he sniffed a wonderful aroma. It's the spaghetti at Tony's Italian Village, the boy responds and takes Taft there where he polishes off a giant plateful-but that's not the aroma. Next, they try Big Ed's Barbecue followed by Mrs. Wong's Hunan Palace. Still not the right smell. Following his nose, Taft leads the parade of townspeople to Acacia Avenue, where the boy lives and his mom's apple pie is cooling on the windowsill. Taft's eagerness to taste the treat sends the pie sailing into the air, but the boy catches it, saves the day and the pie for the president to eat. Though fictional, the story could have happened, as two paragraphs on the back of the title page provide context and profile Taft. The colorful, playful illustrations capture the energy of the comical situation and effective double-page spreads are backdrops of small-town life with Taft's figure dominating the pages surrounded by round-faced, rosy-cheeked people. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525468875
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/13/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.32 (w) x 11.12 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Garland lives in Patterson, New York

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2002

    SPRIGHTLY ILLUSTRATIONS WITH A FUN TEXT

    Michael Garland's latest upbeat story is as American as, well, apple pie, and as brightly colorful as a Fourth of July parade. It's an imagined look-back at our history and a charming portrait of small town life. The year is 1909 and the President, William Howard Taft, is coming to town. Now, he's not only our country's leader but he's a jolly man who appreciates a good meal (from his rotund appearance many of them). The President's train IS greeted by the Fireman's Band playing 'Hail To The Chief' and a loud round of cheers when Taft himself emerges. But, before the President can dedicate the town's new flagpole his attention is caught by an aroma that he can't resist. When he asks what it might be a young boy suggests it might be 'Tony's Italian Villa,' where they make wonderful spaghetti. The boy leads Taft to Tony's and then on a gustatorial tour of his city. Still, the President was smelling something else delicious. Guess what it was? With sprightly full color illustrations and a fun text 'The President and Mom's Apple Pie' deserves some cheers of its own.

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