This entry in the well-written "Our Presidents" series provides an overview of Martin Van Buren's, early years in New York, his support of states' rights, his rise in politics, and his handling of the nation's first depression. All illustrations, except one of Van Buren in l848, are taken from art and cartoons of the day. One-page sections include one about bank problems, Van Buren's immigrant forebears 200 years earlier, and "The Peggy Eaton Affair." Sidebars add interesting facts and picture captions are informative and lengthy enough to inform casual browsers. Each book in the series ends with a glossary defining highlighted words in the text, a timeline specific to the president's life, a complete table of presidents through George W. Bush with their home states, life spans, presidential spans, political party and the name of their first ladies. Included are a page of "Presidential Facts" and numerous web sites and relevant suggested other resources, as well as an index. All in all, it's a strong, informative, and very readable contribution to the literature about presidents for upper elementary and middle school readers.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Presidential biography becomes more accessible with these appealing volumes. An uncluttered layout, large-type font, and high-quality illustrations invite children to delve into each page. Oil portraits and photographs capture each man's likeness at various stages of his life, while period paintings, posters, maps, and political cartoons provide the social and political backdrop of the United States as he knew it. The authors discuss the people and events that shaped each individual before and during his presidency, and they establish his impact on the office as well as on the nation. Frequent sidebars of "Interesting Facts" are just as engaging and informative as the main text. All three books contain a page of presidential facts and a chronological listing of all of our nation's leaders with thumbnail portraits, birthplace, term of office, life span, party affiliation, and First Lady. These are worthy alternatives to titles in the "United States Presidents" series (ABDO/Checkerboard), which are notable for their basic texts but are narrower in scope.-William McLoughlin, Brookside School, Worthington, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.