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30 review for White House Nannie

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cheetah

    Quotes: a.) Nanny Maud Shaw has a scrapbook which contains a comment from Jackie Kennedy, that the nanny thinks epitomizes her career: "It says, 'You brought such happiness to all our lives and especially to President Kennedy, because you made his children what they are'" (p. 1). b.) The Secret Service men drew lots to see who should break the news of JFK's assassination to the nanny. Bob Foster lost and just blurted out the news to the nanny, and then told her that they (nanny, children, Secret Quotes: a.) Nanny Maud Shaw has a scrapbook which contains a comment from Jackie Kennedy, that the nanny thinks epitomizes her career: "It says, 'You brought such happiness to all our lives and especially to President Kennedy, because you made his children what they are'" (p. 1). b.) The Secret Service men drew lots to see who should break the news of JFK's assassination to the nanny. Bob Foster lost and just blurted out the news to the nanny, and then told her that they (nanny, children, Secret Service) would have to leave the White House before Jackie came back because she probably wouldn't want her children around. (p. 12-13) c.) Jackie Kennedy's mom tells Maud Shaw, the nanny, that she should be the one to break the news of JFK's death to the children, because they trust her, and she knows "how to deal with them" (p. 14). d.) The children and the nanny left to go to Jackie Kennedy's mom's, and had settled in, but had to turn around and go right back to the White House because Jackie decided she did, indeed, want them at the White House (p. 16-17). e.) The nanny tells Caroline the news of JFK's death while putting her to bed: "I sat on the edge of the bed and felt tears well up in my eyes. I started reading to her from one of her books -- she loved this moment of the day -- but after a few paragraphs I could no longer see the words. Caroline looked up at me, her little face frowning with concern. 'What's the matter, Miss Shaw? Why are you crying?" I took her gently in my arms. 'I can't help crying. Caroline, because I have some very sad news to tell you.' Then I told her what had happened. It was a dreadful time for us both. Eventually she fell asleep while I sat on the bed, still patting her." f.) The Kennedy family visit's the President's casket the day before the funeral: " John was too young, of course, to understand everything that was happening. The day before the President's funeral, when Mrs. Kennedy went to the Capitol to kneel by his casket, she took Caroline in with her, while I went with John and Mr. Foster (Secret Service) for a walk around the building. One of the Capitol officials showed us around and led us into a big office to wait until Mrs. Kennedy was ready to leave. In the office, John's attention was immediately attracted to a large board decorated with miniature flags of all nations, and our guide asked John if he would like one. 'Yes, please,' he said. 'And one for my sister, please.' He was always so good like that, remembering his sister. The official let him pick out two flags, and then John hesitated. 'Please, may I have one for Daddy?'" (p. 22). g.) The author discusses the morning after the election, and knowing JFK won because of the strange man (Secret Service) standing on the front lawn (p. 70-71): "I realized then that Senator Kennedy must have won. Caroline came over to the window and then asked who the man was. 'He's a friend of your Daddy's,' I told her. She nodded, unconcerned. 'May I go and see Daddy now?' 'Yes, right away,' I said. 'But when you go and wake him up, I want you to give him a nice surprise. Will you go to him and say, "Good morning, Mr. President" this time?' Caroline nodded eagerly. It seemed a good game to her. 'Will he like that?' she asked. 'Yes, I think he'll be very pleased,' I said. I took her hand and led her along the corridor to Senator Kennedy's room, knocked gently on the door, opened it and let Caroline in. "The new president was just a hump in the bedclothes, but Caroline show across the room, jumped on the bed and pulled the blankets from her father's tousled head. He grunted, opened his eyes and smiled at his daughter. Caroline played her part perfectly and with good timing. She said nothing until he had given her a hug and a kiss. 'Good morning, Mr. President,' she said, her eyes shining with delight. 'Well now, is that right?' Caroline looked over to where I stood in the doorway, and her father's glance followed hers. 'Am I in, Miss Shaw?' he asked. 'Of course you are, Mr. President,' I said." h.) Child-rearing tips: "I always feel it is a good thing to be doing something while a child -- Caroline was three and a half by the time we settled into the White House -- dresses itself. It demonstrates to them that you are busy, so they are more inclined to do things for themselves" (p. 89-90). "I used to have a rule with them when they each began to take proper meals. If there was something on the plate that they did not much like the look of, I used to say to them: 'Now, you just try one spoonful. If you really don't like it, leave the rest. But the next time you have it, try two spoonfuls.' We used to do this, and sure enough, the day would come when they would eat up their spinach or whatever it was without a murmur" (p. 90). i.) The children's Secret Service detail: "They became great friends to the children, but I always insisted that Caroline and John should refer to them and speak to them as 'Mister' Meredith, or 'Mister' Foster. The men were a little surprised at this because, being Americans, they were very friendly, and had introduced themselves to the children as Bob or Tom. I always thought it better for the little ones to address them in the more formal manner, not only out of respect but also because it made it easier for the men to control the children if they had to tell them to do something. The agents thought it quite odd -- very English, they said it was -- but it was my way and they went along with it" (p. 100). j.) Caroline's reading abilities: "Her father was famous for his ability to read very quickly, and Caroline had the same facility. She could skim through a book almost as quickly as I could, but still retain all the details. There was no question that she did not take in every word, for often when I was reading to her from books she had also read on her own, I might skip a word or mix up a sentence; she would immediately say: 'Miss Shaw, you went wrong there'" (p. 101). k.) Saying an Episcopalian version of a prayer to the children, by accident: "Mrs. Kennedy was always broad-minded about this. Once I got slightly muddled between the Catholic and another version in teaching the children the Lord's Prayer. This time, she happened to be standing in the door while I said the prayer with John and Caroline. When I had finished, Mrs. Kennedy smiled: 'That's the Episcopalian version, isn't it, Miss Shaw?' 'Oh, is it?' I said. 'I'm sorry. . . I forgot.' Mrs. Kennedy shrugged. 'It doesn't matter" (p. 105). l.) The author discusses vacations at Hyannisport, where the children were pretty much allowed to do whatever they pleased, including consume large quantities of soda and candy. Caroline had an affinity for hot dogs and would eat that every opportunity (p. 136-137). m.) The author praises the Kennedy children, and Jackie teases her for being partial: "They were very capable of amusing themselves, however, and both had a high degree of intelligence, as one would expect of the President and Mrs. Kennedy. What people did not expect, though, was that Caroline and John would be such unspoiled, nice kids. There was nothing 'bratty' about them. And while I held this view myself, it was always rather rewarding when other people came to the same conclusion. Anyway, quite apart from my own prejudice toward them, I am convinced that Caroline and John will always be two very nice, intelligent, well-behaved children. Perhaps I was always a bit emphatic about this, for even Mrs. Kennedy would tease me about the way I praised the children behind their backs. 'Oh, Miss Shaw,' she would say. 'You're biased.' Well, let's face it, I am" (p. 140-141). n.) JFK and his son: "For the most part, I left Caroline to her own devices -- she was usually riding -- since she was the older of the two, and kept my eye on John. This time, I had a good idea where he would be -- down in the hangar. Sure enough, he was. And so was the President. Both of them were sitting at the controls of the helicopter with flying helmets on. The President was playing the game seriously with his son, taking orders from Flight Captain John, thoroughly absorbed in the whole thing. I retreated quietly and left father and son very happy together" (p. 146). o.) Caroline's doll: Caroline had a doll that could tape record messages and play them back. One day the author pressed the doll's button, to hear what Caroline had been teaching the doll, and she recognized JFK's Boston accent, saying profanities! The author tried to erase the message, but was unsuccessful, and so was one of the Secret Service men, so the Secret Service man ended up buying a new tape for the doll altogether (p. 146-147). p.) The children and cussing: "Caroline, at one stage, heard someone using the word 'damn.' Sure enough, I caught her saying saying it once something went wrong. Of course, it is disastrous to make a thing out of it, so I said nothing until later in the day, when I happened to drop the soap out of my hand into the bath when I was washing Caroline. 'Jam,' I said. Immediately, Caroline's ears pricked up. 'What did you say, Miss Shaw?' she asked. 'Jam,' I said. 'I always say that when I drop things.' 'Why?' she asked. 'I don't know, really,' I said. 'Come to think of it, it is a bit silly of me, isn't it?' Caroline giggled. 'Oh well,' I said, 'if you think it's silly of me, I don't think I'll say it anymore.' I didn't hear her use the word 'damn' anymore" (p. 148). q.) The author talks about how the children got sick with chicken pox shortly after JFK died, and how John wouldn't stay in bed (p. 168-169). r.) Caroline and the Secret Service men: "One poignant memory I have of those men was of the day we rode in the procession from the White House to the Capitol for the President's funeral service. John and Caroline and I rode in a car going at walking pace and followed by a long line of heads of state from all over the world. On each side of the car there was a Secret Service man, also walking. And from the moment we moved off, Caroline reached out of the window on her side and clung on to the hand of Bob Foster and held it tight all the way to the Capitol. Foster told me later he had a very hard job not to weep, so touched was he by the gesture of trust by the little girl" (p. 174). s.) About the children's similarities to their father: "They both have their father's gift of asking the right questions and pursuing their interrogation until they have the right answers to satisfy them" (p. 182). t.) The author talks about how John was "one hundred percent boy," and how he was particularly interested in gore, and kept asking during a play when the character who was threatening people with an ax was going to chop off the other characters' heads (p. 182-183). u.) The author takes the children to visit her family in England: "John was quite satisfied with our little terraced house. When we got to James Street, Sheerness, and went into the house to meet Hettie and Jack, he took one quick look around and pronounced: 'I like this dumpy little house, Miss Shaw. I'm glad you only have one flight of stairs. I'm tired of stairs [...] Where's the cook and the butler?'" (p. 202). v.) We had a very happy couple of days in my little home. We played games, went down to the beach to look for cockles, chased through crowds of sightseers, slept in makeshift beds and laughed a lot. But throughout, I was painfully aware of the awful fact that my days with these two lovely children were running out fast. They knew nothing about that, of course, thinking only that I was staying on in England for a holiday. I couldn't tell them, even then. These two, the children of one of the greatest men in the world, went to sleep that night in their beds in the tiny house I called home, and as I watched them, I could do nothing but weep" (p. 203).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    I found this book really charmning and entertaining. It was clear from the outset that Ms Shaw really admired President Kennedy and his wife, and she says nothing but good and kind things about them: what wonderful parents and people they were, how nice it was to work for them, how lovely the children were, how great the White House staff was etc. I remember reading something about Jackie Kennedy being really upset when this book was published, but it is difficult to understand why? I mean, the I found this book really charmning and entertaining. It was clear from the outset that Ms Shaw really admired President Kennedy and his wife, and she says nothing but good and kind things about them: what wonderful parents and people they were, how nice it was to work for them, how lovely the children were, how great the White House staff was etc. I remember reading something about Jackie Kennedy being really upset when this book was published, but it is difficult to understand why? I mean, the books contains nothing controversial and, more than anything else, contributes to the myth surrounding the Kennedy presidency. I read this book recently, after years of reading about the president's many affairs, health problems and the tensions between him and his wife caused by his constant philandering. But, when you read Ms Shaw's book, those things are not mentioned at all, although, as someone living so closely to them in their household, she must have seen or heard SOMETHING during all those years. Anyway, it was nice and charming, and it was also refreshing to read something about the Kennedys that did not focus on the President's philandering and troubled marriage, but rather on the positive aspects. Everything in the book may not be true, but it was still nice to read!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Heila

    What was interesting to me was what wasn't said in this book. Just the facts of how day-to-day life was with Maud, Caroline and John - and Jack & Jackie. Begs a lot of questions about what parenting and raising children actually consists of. It's written in a quite formal, old-fashioned voice, kind of flat actually. That this woman did raise the children and what her methods were, and how that fit in with their parents lives and where their lives intersected with the other adults in their What was interesting to me was what wasn't said in this book. Just the facts of how day-to-day life was with Maud, Caroline and John - and Jack & Jackie. Begs a lot of questions about what parenting and raising children actually consists of. It's written in a quite formal, old-fashioned voice, kind of flat actually. That this woman did raise the children and what her methods were, and how that fit in with their parents lives and where their lives intersected with the other adults in their lives, including the Secret Service men and extended family is interesting.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This was a quaint book- written by the nanny of the Kennedy children, primarily about their time in the White House. It obviously does not have a ghost writer, which makes it a bit repetitive and simplistic. But it is an interesting perspective of history, and it brought to mind many details about the Kennedy family I had forgotten. At the time of this writing, Robert was still alive, so I imagine this book caused quite a stir when published, given Jackie's desire for privacy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jamison

    i wasn't as much interested about camelot, as how a british nanny raised children. i found a few good ideas for use later. shaw was good at getting her charges to act independently, which helps when you are dealing with more than one child. a good book, quickly read, with wonderful pictures of the kennedy children.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    This book, published in 1966, is the story of Miss Shaw, nanny to Caroline and John Kennedy for seven years. She talks of moving to and living in the White House. And, of course, she recounts that horrible day, November 22, 1963, when those beautiful childrens' father was taken away from them forever. Filled with family anecdotes, it's a charming read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    Like a classy People Magazine with child-rearing tips. A quick and entertaining one-evening read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Megan MacVaugh

    A great read. I really enjoyed it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Piper

    3.5 Stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Author writes of the seven years she was governess to Caroline and John Jr. Kennedy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Kenney

    Yes, absolutely everyone seems to have had their moment of "tell-all". Nicely written adding to the canon of tell-alls by the female domestic staff during the "camelot" years.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joy H.

    Added 8/25/16. (first published 1965)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tatra

    Actually really cool.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Priscilla Herrington

    After reading Jackie's Girl, which takes place after Jackie Kennedy and her children had moved to New York City, I was drawn to read an earlier book by a member of the Kennedy's White House Staff, Maud Shaw. Ms. Shaw was the Kennedys nanny, from the time Caroline was eleven days old. The book contains many photos from Miss Shaw's life, especially her years with the Kennedys. I had not realized it, but Miss Shaw was the only non-citizen working in the White House. And after her retirement, she After reading Jackie's Girl, which takes place after Jackie Kennedy and her children had moved to New York City, I was drawn to read an earlier book by a member of the Kennedy's White House Staff, Maud Shaw. Ms. Shaw was the Kennedys nanny, from the time Caroline was eleven days old. The book contains many photos from Miss Shaw's life, especially her years with the Kennedys. I had not realized it, but Miss Shaw was the only non-citizen working in the White House. And after her retirement, she went back to her native England to live with her brother and sister. For anyone who remembers the Camelot years with fond nostalgia, this is a lovely book. Her ideas about raising children, based on extensive experience, make sense and could be used by anyone who wants to raise self reliant children!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karen Afshar

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carolynne

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marly Lemanski

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  19. 5 out of 5

    Darla

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lorelei DeMesa

  22. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

  24. 4 out of 5

    Miette

  25. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

  26. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carole

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Thornton

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Deasy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lenore

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