New to the USA from Mexico, young immigrant Bunny Romero has a dream. An unusual one, to be sure, but it is her dream. Bunny wants to visit the White House, but more than that, she wants to eat her favorite cookies – her Mexican nana’s Hamantashen – in the White House kitchen. It sounds impossible, but then the unexpected happens – Bunny’s second-grade class will be touring the White House just before Thanksgiving! However, is the kitchen a part of the tour of the White House? Join this young dreamer in Bunny Romero’s White House Adventure: The Whole Megillah! by Margie Blumberg and find out if Bunny can make this very special dream come true.
The book includes a glossary of different words and their pronunciations right up front which I think is an excellent idea, preparing the reader in advance for understanding the meanings. Languages included are Spanish, English, Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. The author has interspersed them throughout the text in a very natural way. The illustrations by Renee Andriani are absolutely delightful and so detailed that one could almost follow the story with the imagery alone. The double-page chaotic search scene when everyone looks for Bunny will have parents nodding their heads.
Parents and teachers will be delighted at the depth of themes conveyed in this lovely book. Not only is it a story of a young person’s dream coming true, but the story indicates the historic importance of immigrants, and how their presence – their culture, language, and talents – enhances the strength of a nation. Margie Blumberg has included just enough detail of two important holidays, Thanksgiving and the Jewish Purim, to teach young readers about these celebrations. The author advises parents and teachers to get young readers involved by looking for images that represent the two holidays featured in the story. More fun facts can also be found on the author’s website. This is a great idea to get kids interested beyond just reading a story and closing the book. Kids love to learn and to explore for themselves. This would be a super way to get those little minds working. There’s a lot for adult readers to learn as well, such as how the different colors of the rooms in the White House got their names. There is enough detail here to encourage youngsters to do some extra research.
A Dream Diary at the back of the book will encourage young readers to start making their dreams a reality. A very good way to get children to think about what they want in life, where they want to be. The fun historical end section has just enough history to pique readers’ interest as they learn more about Lincoln, Emma Lazarus, the Statue of Liberty and Bunny’s ancestry. Let’s not forget the Hamantashen! Hamantashen cookies sound delicious and it’s no wonder because these are very special cookies and deserve to be eaten in a very special place, like the kitchen at the White House. Hamantashen have a very old history attached to them and kids will be intrigued to learn about the biblical Queen Esther and what Purim is all about. And yes, there is a recipe included which could make for a fun family baking session! It sounds like a lot for a young reader to take in, but the story is so well constructed and so charmingly packaged that kids will turn the pages while enjoying themselves, finding out more about history, traditions, and people, and learning when they don’t even know it. Margie Blumberg’s cute rhymes tell the tale in a fun, rhythmic way that will have advanced young readers really enjoying reading aloud. A great addition to any child's bookshelf. Five stars!