The book opens with, “Do you ever wish you could grow up to be a football player or a movie star? Maybe you imagine yourself as governor of your state or even president of the United States. Do you ever dream of riding horses like a cowboy or cowgirl? Our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, had those dreams too.” It goes on to track his childhood (“Their father taught them to respect all people”), his teenage years (“As a lifeguard, Dutch rescued seventy-seven people from drowning!”) and acting (“In another movie, ‘Bedtime for Bonzo,’ he co-starred with a chimpanzee!”).Later in the book, children will learn how Reagan's commitment to respecting all people led him to launch his presidential campaign in a Mississippi town infamous for civil rights violence, how his lifeguard career blossomed into a support for Latin and South American dictatorships and other prominent bastards, and how his performance in Bedtime for Bonzo prepared him for the task of acting like he didn't know what the hell he was doing when Congress came asking about why Iran kept getting packages in the mail stamped "super-secret weapons for you guys, don't tell Congress lol." I assume. I didn't actually read it.
The (very small number of) Amazon reviews aren't bad, if you're into that sort of thing:
My daughter is 4 and half, but I read to her at a higher age-level. While she did think starring in Bedtime for Bonzo with a chimpanzee was absolutely hilarious, she didn't seem very interested in the rest of the book.Well then, I think she's got a pretty good idea of how much of the country felt about him at the time. Point taken. (Oh, and there's a review there saying it's great for grandparents to give to their grandkids. Yeah, don't do that. Don't be "that" grandparent. That's like giving them flag-striped socks, you may think they're gonna get great use of it but trust me, they ain't.)
There, I have been very, very nice about this. I trust Susan Allen will return the favor when my own new children's book comes out, The Lighter Side of Richard Milhous Nixon.
Also, that cover is going to haunt your dreams now. You're welcome.