A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows where vice president of the United States lives and works, the kinds of things he does on an average workday, and what certain famous buildings in Washington, D.C., are used for. Notes that a landscape painting on the vice president's wall is by T.C. Steele, an artist from Pence's home state of Indiana. Resources section amplifies the story's rhyming text and gives more information, such as the vice president being president of the Senate and sometimes breaking a tie vote.
"I help out whenever I can." "And I remember how blessed I am / To call this great nation home."
Positive Role Models
The vice president attends important meetings and events, sometimes presides over the Senate and casts votes in the Senate, meets with people "from all across America" to hear their concerns and answer questions, reviews his day with the president, prays and reads the Bible before bed. Marlon helps out whenever he can and prays with "Grampa" before bed.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President is a patriotic picture book featuring real-life Pence family pet Marlon Bundo. Written by Vice President Mike Pence's daughter, Charlotte Pence (Marlon Bundo's "mom"), and illustrated by the vice president's wife, Karen Pence, it imagine's a bunny's-eye view of the vice president's workday, including riding in his limo, attending meetings, visiting the Capitol, talking to the president on the phone, and reading the Bible before bed. A three-page Resources section at the back of the book explains more about each stop in a kid-friendly way, with details such as, "The vice president works every day in the West Wing, where he has his own office down the hall from the president."
Is It Any Good?
This nicely illustrated day-in-the life story gives young readers a taste of the workday of an important elected official in Washington, D.C. Narrated in rhyming verse by author Charlotte Pence's real-life pet bunny, Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President focuses on Marlon and the big buildings and rooms he enters. Artist Karen Pence, the vice president's wife, zeros in on the realistically drawn rabbit's view, so when the vice president is meeting with people, we see him at rug level and only see the people's feet and their legs below the knee. Or we'll see Marlon on the patio of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building down at floor level while the Washington Monument looms in the distance. All the architecture and vast interiors are well-rendered in watercolors, but not seeing Marlon interact with people or showing people's faces diminishes the reader's experience of him as a real character with a personality. We never see the vice president's face or full body. The most we see of him is his hands and part of his torso as he sits at a desk and reads the Bible with Marlon on the last page of the story.
More of Marlon's personality comes through in the lively text by Charlotte Pence, the vice president's grown daughter, but the rhymes are often only approximate -- for example, "can" is rhymed with "planned," "seat" with "streets," "flags" with "wag," "left" with "steps," "works" with "first," "doors" with "tours" -- and the meter is inconsistent, so a line with six beats rhymes with one that has eight, making the book a less-than-smooth read-aloud.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.