Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? By personalizing this 1963 historical visit of John F. Kennedy America’s first Irish Catholic president, to his birthplace in New Ross, Ireland, Ryan Tubridy captures the joy and wonder of an imaginary meeting of young boy named Patrick. The story focuses on the significance, preparations and actual scheduled events of the trip, captured in the warm, evoking illustrations of P.J. Lynch. It is a step back in a time machine, from the items on shelves in the kitchen, the clothing, the people, the radio broadcast, etc. all so realistic, capturing their emotions ranging from excitement, worry, pride and joy. It is a wonderful journey that will show young readers a living history and reinforces the uniqueness of his Irish background and trip.
Anything you didn’t like about it? This story portrays a wonderful mood, idealized through the lens of JFK’s perfection, fueling his Camelot memory. It memorializes his joyful four days to Ireland and the welcoming hospitality of the Irish people.
To whom would you recommend this book? Children and parents of Irish decent, anyone who loved JFK.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians.
Where would you shelve it ? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Diane Neylon, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Date of review: March 14, 2017