Monday, February 21, 2011
President's Day Celebration Books!
Happy President's Day!! In honor of today's holiday, President's day, here are some fun books that showcase our Commanders in Chief.
by: Jon Buller, Sally Warner
Summary: Gr. 4-7. From the Smart about History series, this book is similar to other recent titles that quickly delineate the presidents with cartoon-style illustrations and a few fast, fun facts. However, this also presents a paragraph or so of solid information along with the fluff. Students will learn, for example, that Jimmy Carter was humble, honest, and down-to-earth--just what the country needed after Watergate. They will also find out about the taking of the hostages in Iran and that Carter negotiated a treaty between the Egyptians and the Israelis. Each president also gets a few lines about his life before the presidency. All in all, there's a surprising amount of information offered in a kid-friendly style. The artwork is better than average, and although it's played for fun, it's not disrespectful. Different fonts and a peppy layout add appeal. A bibliography, a map showing where the presidents were born, and spreads on White House kids, First Ladies, and more are appended. An easy way to interest kids in the presidency.
by: Judith St. George
Summary: Tired of books about the presidency that present themselves as history books? Author Judith St. George--along with Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator David Small--has created a book about the presidency that's serious fun. The basic theme is that anyone can be president: a fat man (William Howard Taft) or a tiny man (James Madison), a relative youngster (Teddy Roosevelt at 42) or oldster (Ronald Reagan at 69). Presidential hobbies, sports, virtues, and vices all get a tongue-in-cheek airing, perfectly matched by Small's political-cartoon style of caricature painting. It's fun, but the underlying purpose is clearly serious: to remind kids that the American presidents have been a motley group of individuals, not a row of marble busts. Ironically, that message makes the presidency far more interesting (and appealing) than it seems in some of the more traditional books. There's a factual addendum at the back giving all the dates and names, with a one-line bio for each past-president. (Ages 8 and older)