#901 – When Penny Met POTUS by Rachel Ruiz and Melissa Manwill


What better time than today to think about our freedoms, including our freedom to vote—now that it is time to vote in a new President—and what this might mean for kids. The kid below, Penny, thinks POTUS is a blue-haired, horned, blue-suit wearing monster. Is she right?,

POTUScover When Penny Met POTUS
Written by Rachel Ruiz
Illustrated by Melissa Manwill
Capstone Young Readers   7/01/2016
32 pages   Ages 4—7

“Penny knows her mom works in a big white houses for something called POTUS. (You say it like this: POE-tus.) But Penny’s never seen a POTUS. She doesn’t even know what it looks like! When she goes to work with her mom, will she finally catch a glimpse of the mysterious creature?

“When Penny Met POTUS is an adventure in imagination and a perfect introduction to politics for any age!” [back cover]

When Penny Met POTUS
There’s no school today. Like many young kids, Penny will probably sleep in, watch some TV, and eat a few snacks. Well, she would if this were an ordinary day off and not the day Penny goes to work with mom—and she is excited! Why? Well, Penny’s mom works for POTUS, a super special person. He has his own secret service agents and a personal chef to make him whatever he wants, whenever he wants it. But mom needs to make a few phones calls first, leaving Penny to wait patiently for her to finish her calls. Penny becomes impatient and cannot wait. She sneaks away to search for POTUS. As Penny wanders, she asks everyone she runs into,

“Excuse me,” Penny says. “Have you seen POTUS?”

Penny never finds her POTUS. Mom catches up with her wandering daughter, who explains, “I just had to meet POTUS. As fate would have it, Mom knew where POTUS was, and the answer happened to be a few feet away from where Penny now stood. Surprised, Penny said, “You’re POTUS?”

The Review
“POTUS” (POE-tus), is an acronym for President Of The United States. In Penny’s mind, POTUS is a monster; big and strong, wearing a suit and tie, with his horns and purple-blue hairy skin. She believes POTUS deploys his little lizard-like secret service agents on secret missions. He also has his own airplane and a personal chef (imagine, pizza at midnight!).

9781623707583_int02Penny’s age is never stated, meaning she is accessible to children of all ages, but she looks to be a middle grader (bedroom contains a stack of books of middle grade heft). Penny is a bright-eyed young girl, eager to go with mom to work “at a big white house,” where the “boss’s name is POTUS.” Upon meeting the real POTUS, Penny cannot believe it. Why? Well, it’s not because POTUS is a woman. That does not surprise Penny one bit. Penny is perplexed because POTUS is not a monster, or any monster-like creature. (Maybe this is due to this, and the last, presidential campaign seasons, though if she were too young to know the “big white house” mom works at is the White House, she would most likely know nothing about presidential campaigns, past or present.)

Manwell’s illustrations humorously depict Penny’s monster-like vision of POTUS. There is nothing to indicate this is the White House, not even the generic Oval Office—a flag would have been nice—the images are kid-friendly, with helpful, smiling staff. Young kids will love the presidential monster, who seems to have some superhero powers and appetite. Maxwell’s images enhance When Penny Met POTUS, giving children a better understanding of the text.

9781623707583_int01I love Penny’s plans for the moment she meets POTUS. She envisions POTUS will be enchanted with her, hold a private tea party, and, in the end, invites her to visit once more. None of this dream happens with the real POTUS. Ruiz’s POTUS has a great sense of humor, acting as if she is regular staff when Penny asks if she’s seen the president. Ruiz has written a story consistent with the times, yet out of this world. Girls and boys will love the alien humor and the imagined POTUS. In the end, after cookies and ice cream, Penny decides meeting the real POTUS is as “just as cool as meeting a monster.”

When Penny Met POTUS is Rachel Ruiz’s debut children’s book.

WHEN PENNY MET POTUS. Text copyright © 2016 by Rachel Ruiz. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Melissa Manwill. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Capstone Young Readers, North Mankato, MN.

AmazonIndie BooksApple BooksCapstone

Find When Penny Met POTUS on Goodreads HERE.
When Penny Met POTUS Facebook is HERE.
When Penny Met POTUS Activity Kit is HERE. (scroll down to “downloads”)

Rachel Ruiz:
Follow on Twitter          @ruiz_rachel

Melissa Manwill:  http://www.melissamanwill.com/  and   http://melissamanwill.tumblr.com/
Follow on Twitter          @MelissaManwill

Capstone Young Readers:  http://www.capstonepub.com/
Follow on Twitter           @CapstoneYR

Capstone Young Readers is an imprint of Capstone.


Reprinted with permission from WHEN PENNY MET POTUS © 2016 by Rachel Ruiz, Capstone Young Readers, an imprint of Capstone, Illustrations © 2016 by Melissa Manwill.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

When Penny Met POTUS
Written by Rachel Ruiz
Illustrated by Melissa Manwill
Capstone Young Readers 7/01/2016


7 thoughts on “#901 – When Penny Met POTUS by Rachel Ruiz and Melissa Manwill

    • Patricia, there is really no need to hold off. Multiple reviews go up all the time. (Personally, I wait at least two weeks if Erik has reviewed a book on my review list, so as not to “compete” with him, especially since we’ve been “competing” to see who can publish a book’s review first, not know each other’s review list or order. Erik is currently winning.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I also receive ARCs, but I try not to compete with others. Just be respectful. I’ll wait a few months sometimes before I release my review — gives the author continue reviews.
        Thanks. I won’t worry then.


  1. What a fun story and great timing on its release. I think that most politicians appear to be monsters and/or part alien at times. Great review, Sue.


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