Parents' Guide to

Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Bunny hops along with Mike Pence in patriotic picture book.

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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.

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