OUR WHITE HOUSE : LOOKING IN AND LOOKING OUT by Renowned Authors and Illustrators and the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance with an Introduction by David McCullough

December 12, 2008 at 4:53 pm Leave a comment

our-white-houseIn March, 1792, commissioners of federal buildings paid five hundred dollars for a plan to build a President’s House. The master builders were James Hoban, from Dublin, and the O’Deorains, also from Ireland. In addition, there were stone masons from Scotland and hundreds of unpaid, unacknowledged workers who were slaves.  The first occupants in this incomplete, barely livable house were the Adams family. Abigail hung her wash in the mansion while mice threatened the tranquility of President Adams.  Upon awakening on his first morning in the President’s House, John Adams and his wife shared this prayer:

            I pray to Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House    

and all that shall hereafter inhabit it.

May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.  

Unfortunately, as events unfolded, Adams’s prayer was not always fulfilled.  Thomas Jefferson added a kitchen garden and displayed his collection of mammoth bones in the Executive House. Each subsequent President left his mark on the Mansion, or White House, as it was called by Theodore Roosevelt and the others who followed. The White House was burned to the ground by the British in the War of 1812, but was restored. The House was a place of fun and mayhem for Lincoln’s sons and Teddy Roosevelt’s wild brood. The various authors and illustrators relate and depict some of the significant events of the time, both inside the House itself or what was brewing in the nation. They include, as well, amusing and trivial matters based on historical research. Readers of all ages will find inspiration, delight, whimsy and facts about our country and the official residence of our highest office holder. Hats off to this large, exuberant endeavor that belongs in every library.   Included is a list of contributors, a pull-out of the Presidents, and a CD about Conversations with Contributors.


Recommended, Lillian Hecker- Pelham


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

SCAT by Carl Hiaasen CATCALL by Linda Newbery

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