Witnessed through the eyes of a young boy, a captivating story beautifully evokes John F. Kennedy’s return to his ancestral home.
When the beloved president visited Ireland in 1963, he described it as the best four days of his life. And for a generation of Irish people, it was a trip they never forgot. This warmly told, bighearted picture book captures the fevered excitement in the buildup to the president’s visit, all seen through the eyes of a young boy named Patrick who wants to know more than anything what it would feel like to shake the president’s hand. Rooted in historical fact and marking the centennial of John F. Kennedy’s birth, this feast of a book offers readers a pure and personal take on JFK’s visit to County Wexford, Ireland. Included in the back matter is a time line that helps amplify the story.
Lynch captures the narrative’s fevered tone in splendidly realistic scenes of close-packed crowds and excited pale faces. Kennedy looks suitably tall, grand, and genial, and Patrick is the very picture of freckle-faced concentration as he slices a Swiss roll and offers it to the great man…meeting the president is always going to be a memorable moment, whoever’s holding the office. —Kirkus Reviews
The text is pleasant and quietly touching. The softly hued illustrations, expertly rendered in watercolor, help to enhance the text…A lovely introduction to a former U.S. president from a unique historical perspective. Consider for U.S. history and biography collections. —School Library Journal
It’s an uplifting imagined episode that reflects the way an encounter with fame can energize an entire community. An afterword delves into the details of Kennedy’s visit, including the itinerary of his trip. —Publishers Weekly
It’s a story and a book that deserves to be read and reread by every Irish and Irish American child for generations to come. —Irish Voice