Posted in book reviews (all genres), food art, poetry friday, presidential food, soup recipes, tagged american presidents, bob raczka, caricature, children's poetry, clerihews, dan burr, humor, humorous poetry, illustration, poetry, squirrel stew on February 6, 2015 |
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Pardon me, but whenever I see the word “clerihew” I think somebody’s just sneezed. Either that, or I picture a shell-shaped danish pastry or a new fangled brass musical instrument.
But all you poetry aficionados know very well that a clerihew is a cheeky four-line rhyming poem invented back in the late 19th century. Its sole purpose? To make fun of a famous person. In case you’re looking to liven up your President’s Day celebration on February 16, better check out Bob Raczka’s new book, Presidential Misadventures: Poems That Poke Fun at the Man in Charge (Roaring Brook Press, 2015).
Officially released just last week, this smorgasbord of historical and hysterical verse features 43 juicy tidbits about each of our Presidents with clever caricatures by award-winning illustrator and cartoonist Dan E. Burr. All based on fact, some poems point to an important achievement or event (Louisiana Purchase, Monroe Doctrine, Manifest Destiny), but most highlight a quirky personal habit or idiosyncrasy (Harding’s size 14 feet, Pierce’s vanity, Van Buren’s pet tigers, John Quincy Adams’s early morning skinny dipping).
In keeping with the clerihew’s rules, the first lines of these poems end with the person’s name, and I like Raczka’s spot-on descriptions: “Toothache-prone George Washington,” “Fashion-conscious Chester Arthur,” “Electric-shock victim Benjamin Harrison,” “Fresca fanatic LBJ,” “Cover-upper Richard Nixon.” Best zinger of all? “Relaxer-in-chief George W. Bush.” Did you know he took more than 900 days of vacation while in office? :D
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Posted in book reviews (all genres), picture books, presidential food, tagged american history, book reviews, children's books, eleanor roosevelt, food, franklin delano roosevelt, Great Britain, history, hot dogs, leslie kimmelman, picnics, picture books, presidents, victor juhasz, WWII on June 11, 2014 |
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When is a hot dog more than just a hot dog?
When it’s served on a silver tray to the first reigning British monarchs to ever set foot on American soil!
Yes, that’s precisely what happened when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited the United States in June 1939.
The King and Queen arrive at Union Station (June 8, 1939).
To celebrate this momentous occasion, Eleanor Roosevelt decided to host an all-American picnic at Top Cottage, their beautiful countryside retreat overlooking the Hudson River Valley in Hyde Park, New York.
All illustrations © 2014 Victor Juhasz
In Hot Dog!: Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a Picnic (Sleeping Bear Press, 2014), Leslie Kimmelman recounts how the indefatigable First Lady planned the picnic and why she felt it was important for both our countries. With Europe on the brink of war and the U.S. in the throes of the Great Depression, this would be a good chance for Americans to set aside their cares for awhile to welcome these special guests. Such a personal gesture of friendship would also allow Americans to see a more human, accessible side to the Royals.
(click to enlarge)
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