BUNNY ROMERO’S WHITE HOUSE ADVENTURE: THE WHOLE MEGILLAH!
Margie BlumbergMore about the author
Renée AndrianiMore about the illustrator
When Jewish immigrant Bunny Romero learns that her second-grade class will be visiting the White House, she jumps for joy. Now she is sure that her dream will come true: to eat her favorite cookies—her Mexican nana’s hamantashen—right there in the White House kitchen. When that happens, Bunny has decided, she’ll really feel at home in America! So what does Bunny do when she discovers that the kitchen is not part of the tour? Find out in this delightful rhyming tale, lightly sprinkled with Spanish, Yiddish, and Hebrew, about a day that Bunny—and everyone else at the White House (including one fun-loving turkey)—will never forget!
MORE FUN INSIDE!
An illustrated Spanish, Yiddish, and Hebrew glossary • A dream diary • A bissel of history that includes Abraham Lincoln, Emma Lazarus, the Statue of Liberty — and Bunny Romero! • A hamantashen recipe
“A spirit of fun pervades the text and the pictures. . . . celebration is the dominant mood in this book. Funny [and] warm . . .”
“In this rhyming, illustrated children’s book, a young girl goes to the White House for a field trip and makes an unscheduled visit to the kitchen.
“Second-grader Bunny Romero, a recent immigrant to the United States from Mexico, is enjoying her grandmother’s Purim gifts of cookies and a book about the White House when she makes a vow: “Someday, I’m going to eat Nana’s hamantashen in the kitchen of this magnificent place!” Maybe then, she reflects, she’ll finally feel at home in America. Six months later, her teacher announces a class trip to the White House, which delights Bunny. She shows her younger brother a plan of the building, announcing that “the kitchen’s / The best of the bunch / ’Cause that’s where I’ll nosh on / My hamantash lunch!” On the school trip, there’s plenty to see, including the Blue, Green, and Red rooms. But the kitchen isn’t on the tour, so when it’s time to depart, Bunny decides to go off and find it for herself. A commotion ensues as everyone looks for the missing girl, who finds the kitchen and keeps her vow. She also trades some hamantashen for the White House chef’s apple pie and then meets a woman who turns out to be the president of the United States. The backmatter includes a blank “Dream Diary,” historical facts, and a recipe for hamantashen. Alongside the story of a girl’s bold adventure, Blumberg (Avram’s Gift, 2017, etc.) manages to emphasize the important role of immigrants in the United States’ history, writing in an introduction: “As the granddaughter of immigrants who adopted America as their home, I hope that people will always be welcomed and protected here.” The charming, full-color illustrations by Andriani (No Naptime for Janie!, 2017, etc.) underline this theme, showing diverse characters among the schoolchildren and White House dinner guests. A spirit of fun pervades the text and the pictures—in the latter, kids can, for example, look for symbols of Purim and Thanksgiving. There are gloomy stories that could be told about immigration, but celebration is the dominant mood in this book.
“Funny, warm, and unreflective of the current White House.”
“There’s lots of welcome diversity in the imagined White House and Bunny’s class . . . in this peppy, mostly rhyming tale. . . . [T]he humorous, cartoonish illustrations . . . are well-suited to the story’s cheerful tone.” —THE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES NEWSLETTER FEB/MARCH 2019, SHOSHANA FLAX, THE HORN BOOK, INC., BOSTON, MA
“Bunny, a new immigrant from Mexico, is inspired over Purim to set a goal: “Someday, I’m going to eat Nana’s hamentashen in the White House kitchen.” This will help her feel at home in her new country. Six months later, a White House field trip just before Thanksgiving provides the perfect opportunity. Her class’s visit provides readers with peeks into, and background about, a few rooms of the White House before Bunny sneaks away. Eventually, a delicious encounter with “Ms. Tall Chief / Our president…yay!” ensues. There’s lots of welcome diversity in the imagined White House and Bunny’s class, and the intersection of Bunny’s identities is treated casually, as is her pride in her heritage in this peppy, mostly rhyming tale. Many readers, however, may find that there’s a little too much information to absorb, from the two holidays to the presidential trivia–even if they’re able to suspend disbelief about White House comings and goings. Still, the humorous, cartoonish illustrations (despite the title character’s first name, the cast is human with one notable, feathered exception) are well-suited to the story’s cheerful tone. Front and back matter include a multilingual glossary; notes for parents and teachers; historical and linguistic background, a ‘Dream Diary,’ and of course, a hamentashen recipe.” —THE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES NEWSLETTER FEB/MARCH 2019, SHOSHANA FLAX, THE HORN BOOK, INC., BOSTON, MA
“‘Bunny Romero’s White House Adventure: The Whole Megillah!’ is an educational children’s picture book written by Margie Blumberg and illustrated by Renée Andriani. Bunny is relatively new to the United States, and she’s quite excited about her upcoming class trip to the White House. You see, six months earlier, she had been noshing on hamantashen her nana had sent to her from Mexico City, while she was looking at some beautiful pictures of the White House. Bunny missed her nana and still didn’t feel quite at home in her new country. She thought that if she could eat her grandmother’s hamantashen in the White House, it would make her feel like she really belonged. So, when her teacher announced the class trip, Bunny was thrilled and excited. That morning, she and her classmates all climbed aboard the bus that would take them there, they toured the White House, and then prepared to leave — but the hamantashen was still in her pocket and Bunny still wanted to get to that kitchen. Could she get there and would they let her stay?
Margie Blumberg’s educational children’s storybook, Bunny Romero’s White House Adventure: The Whole Megillah! is a marvelous way to share American history with young readers from the vantage point of a new citizen, Bunny. I loved seeing how Blumberg stresses the contributions immigrants have made at all stages in the history of this country and smiled when I saw Rénee Andriani’s gorgeous illustrations of a White House filled with people of all nationalities. And Blumberg’s president had me standing up and cheering. Blumberg begins her book with a glossary of Spanish, Yiddish, Hebrew and English words and phrases, and she concludes her story with a Dream Diary for young readers to fill out, A Bissel of History and a recipe for hamantashen. What more could you want? I love this book! It expresses so much of what makes this country great and what resides in all good Americans’ hearts. Bunny Romero’s White House Adventure: The Whole Megillah! is most highly recommended.
—JACK MAGNUS, READERS’ FAVORITE
“My dream? To visit the White House. After reading “Bunny Romero’s White House Adventure,” I feel like I have already had a tour of the White House and its colored rooms. The story, by author Margie Blumberg, invites the young reader to go along with Bunny on her school trip. Bunny is a new immigrant to the U.S. Her dream is to enjoy her favorite cookie—her Mexican nana’s hamantashen—in the kitchen of the White House. ‘Bunny Romero’s White House Adventure’ is an educational and excellent children’s picture book that parents and teachers will want to read. This book also introduces the young reader to former presidents and their influence on decorating the White House.
“Teachers will enjoy reading ‘Bunny Romero’s White House Adventure’ with students and maybe bake cookies, too. Author Margie Blumberg takes readers on a tour of the White House with a grade 2 class. She also shares Spanish words that students will find interesting. Children will be encouraged to share their dreams which can start a dialog between parents and children. I loved the illustrations and how they vary; some fill the page while others are surrounded by white. The artist, Renée Andriani, draws people very well and her perspectives are accurate. Her colorful illustrations invite the reader into the story and transport them into the rooms of the White House. Every library, school, and home will benefit from this educational children’s book. Now, to book a trip to Washington . . .”
—BARBARA FANSON, READERS’ FAVORITE
“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 Renée 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.”
—FIONA INGRAM, READERS’ FAVORITE
Take a virtual tour of the White House!
Margie Blumberg, eating her tuna fish sandwich in the White House kitchen, 1995
“You Gotta Have a Dream!” by Margie Blumberg, author of Bunny Romero’s White House Adventure: The Whole Megillah!* (Photo by Jim Catler)
When I returned home, I immediately began working on a story about a girl whose dream it was to eat her favorite food in the White House kitchen. That girl eventually became Bunny Romero, a Jewish immigrant from Mexico. And her favorite food is her nana’s hamantashen. Combining images from Purim and Thanksgiving into this picture book was great fun—and meaningful, too!
On that late summer evening in 1995, another of my dreams came true: I got to see Lionel Hampton perform during “Great Vibes: A Salute to Lionel Hampton.”