George Washington crossed the Delaware in the dead of night. Read more...
- [-] Other Available FormatsOur PriceNew & Used Marketplace
George Washington crossed the Delaware in the dead of night. Abraham Lincoln saved the Union. And President William Howard Taft, a man of great stature -- well, he got stuck in a bathtub. Now how did he get unstuck? Author Mac Barnett and illustrator Chris Van Dusen bring their full comedic weight to this legendary story, imagining a parade of clueless cabinet members advising the exasperated president, leading up to a hugely satisfying, hilarious finale.
- ISBN-13: 9780763663179
- ISBN-10: 0763663174
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: March 2014
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 4-8
- Dimensions: 11.6 x 10.1 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-12-23
- Reviewer: Staff
As presidential legend has it, the generously proportioned William Howard Taft once became lodged in his tub. In this pictorial re-enactment, Barnett (Extra Yarn) and Van Dusen (King Hugo's Huge Ego) imagine the undignified predicament: " ‘Blast!' said Taft. ‘This could be bad.' " First Lady Nellie Taft discovers the awkward situation and, at Taft's command, summons the vice president and cabinet secretaries for help. Van Dusen depicts the mustached, apoplectic president scrunched with knees to chest; in gouache caricatures, he emphasizes Taft's ample flesh and visualizes the staffers' dubious solutions (such as greasing the tub with fresh-churned butter or blowing it "into smithereens"). Splashes and bubbles protect Taft's modesty, just barely. (Readers may be reminded of Audrey and Don Wood's cheeky King Bidgood's in the Bathtub, though Bidgood didn't want to leave his porcelain throne.) Barnett's afterword questions whether this embarrassing event happened ("Maybe. Maybe not") and describes the president's multiple custom-made fixtures: "President Taft denied ever commissioning a special Taft-sized tub.... He was lying." Although there's considerably more naked flesh on display then in the average picture book, there's no denying the riveting spectacle of Taft's struggle. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)