HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President
Author: Charlotte Pence
Illustrator: Karen Pence
Publisher: Regnery Kids, 2018
Related website: http://www.RegneryKids.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 3 – 8
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Pence, Charlotte. Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President (published in 2018 by Regnery Kids, an imprint of Regnery Publishing, a division of Salem Media Group, 300 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001). Many U.S. Presidents’ families have had pet dogs (e.g., FDR’s Fala, LBJ’s beagles Him and Her, George and Barbara Bush’s Millie, the Obamas’ Bo), and the Clintons had Socks the Cat. But who is Marlon Bundo? Even though this book is technically considered fiction, Marlon is an actual person, er, the real live pet rabbit of current Vice President Mike Pence’s family, who has become a national celebrity with his appearances at official White House events, his rides on Air Force 2, and his popular Instagram account. This delightfully entertaining and educational story was written by Pence’s daughter and Marlon’s “mother” Charlotte Pence, who has a degree in English and Digital Cinema from DePaul University, and illustrated beautifully with watercolors by the “Second Lady” herself, Karen Pence, an award-winning artist and former art teacher.
Penned in rhyming verse, Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President follows the cute black-and-white bunny rabbit, also known as BOTUS (Bunny of the United States), as he experiences a day in the life of his “Grampa,” thus giving young readers an introductory glimpse into the work of the Vice President from his early morning at the official residence on the Naval Observatory Base, through his duties at the White House West Wing, the Capitol, and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, to his return home. How do Mr. Pence and Marlon end their day? “At last Grampa gets out his Bible, And he quietly bows his head. I place my paw on his hand For one little prayer before bed.” There are three additional pages of explanatory notes at the back of the book to provide further information. Proceeds from book sales will go to an art therapy program called Tracy’s Kids and a nonprofit, A21, that’s working to end slavery and human trafficking. I would like to give this book SIX stars!
One word of warning! Beware of vile, cheap, imitation knock-offs. John Oliver, the mean-spirited, punk-jerk-idiot, late-night television host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” used the book to mock Vice President Pence, ranting about how Pence supposedly hates “gay” people and saying, “I would love to say, ‘Fine, it’s a fun, sweet book about a rabbit … Who gives a [expletive]?…But unfortunately, one of the stops on that book tour is at Focus on the [expletive]-ing Family. So, congratulations, Pence, you’ve even managed to ruin Marlon Bundo.” Not being content just to harangue the Pences with foul language, the vitriolic Oliver then decided to hit where he thought it would hurt the Pences most, announcing that he was releasing a competing book called A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, supposedly written by Marlon Bundo with Jill Twiss, and illustrated by E.G. Keller, that is about homosexual rabbits. Marlon is “gay” and falls in love with another boy rabbit named Wesley while living at the Naval Observatory. The bad guy is Stink Bug, who looks like Mike Pence. This is NOT a sequel to Pence’s book and should be avoided.