Thursday, February 7, 2013

So You Want to be President? by Judith St. George

So You Want to be President? by Judith St. George, illustrated by David Small

Rating: 4.5 stars

Here's a book to introduce the Presidents to your kids.  Not exactly the doesn't shed light on executive orders or what Commander in Chief means.  For me, the story line is a little disorganized and messy--each page is a different aspect of a President's life, from what he eats to what pets he had, from the jobs he held prior to being President to what states most Presidents are from.  There's a lot going on for kids who don't have a firm foundation of these guys.

But the illustrations!  David Small is one of the best in the business; he makes me think that books should be cataloged in the library by illustrators (yes, I know this is crazy and impossible, but a girl can dream, can't she?).  The Caldecott he won for this book is much-deserved in my opinion.  He's created quirky characters doing funny, memorable things, turning what could be seen as stuffy history into fascinating, fun stuff.

Here are some pictures that are going to stay in Lorelei's mind for a long, long time:

Nixon installed a bowling alley in the basement of the White House.

Teddy Roosevelt's kids brought up a pony to cheer up a sick sibling.

Warren Harding winning the Presidential Beauty Contest.

300 lb Taft and his four-person tub!
I know that there's not a ton of historical information here that is going to be handy on a future Social Studies test.  BUT!  There are funny pictures galore, and the book and its fantastic illustrations make learning about Presidents chuckle-worthy.  Can't beat that!

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