This is a cute book, as far as that goes, though I would never have read it had it not slipped into the bookshelves for some birthday or something for the boy. It's about President Taft, our 27th president, on a whistle-stop tour around whatever passed for America in 190*coughcough*. Taft gets off the train to commemorate a flagpole in whatever town we're in, and immediately starts wondering about that wonderful smell. The protagonist, a boy on his father's shoulders so he can see over the crowd, suggests a number of eating establishments. They visit them in turn: Italian, American barbecue, and Hunan. Then Taft runs off, the band and the entire town following, and they end up at the boy's house! ZOMG! And it's his mom's pie cooling on the windowsill that Taft smelt! ZOMG!
Anyway, cute. It probably doesn't hurt to know that William Howard Taft is our fattest president, a man who - possibly anecdotally, though I am not checking my facts at this time - got stuck in the Presidential bathtub because of his girth, and had to be removed by the Secret Service. Awkward. I just mention this because the boy did - telling me this story, though I'd heard it myself at some point - and who knows where he heard it.
Our national stories are funny things, a collection of cherry trees and wooden teeth, which stand in for the more weird facts of history. Do you remember Crispus Attucks, the first person to die in the American Revolutionary War? He's remembered as an African-American, which is true, but he also had Wampanoag parentage - a Native group - and worked as a whaler and all kinds of other crazy stuff. Ahab, hoy! Etc.
Anyway, point being, I really want to see a children's book about the time Carter was attacked by a swimming rabbit. I love Carter, don't get me wrong, but that's some good drama.