Smart About the First Ladies (GB): Smart About History

Overview

For every president, there has been a first lady, sometimes two. Who were these women? How has the job of First Lady (unpaid and unelected) changed over time? The Smart About format proves just right for covering history in an easy, appealing way.

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2004-12-29 Hardcover Good Former library book. Ships Out Tomorrow!

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Overview

For every president, there has been a first lady, sometimes two. Who were these women? How has the job of First Lady (unpaid and unelected) changed over time? The Smart About format proves just right for covering history in an easy, appealing way.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Both of these basic books begin with the same letter from a teacher to her class about doing a group report. What follows are cartoon illustrations with dialogue bubbles and brief texts about each figure. In First Ladies, for example, Mary Todd Lincoln explains that "Abraham scolded me for shopping too much"; Rachel Jackson informs readers that, "There was a scandal over my divorce to my first husband and it caused me great shame." In Presidents, readers learn that Clinton loved golf, peanut butter and banana, and fast food, and that Bush banned broccoli from the White House. Both books are far better for browsing than for gleaning much information. Amy Pastan's First Ladies (DK, 2001), Sydelle A. Kramer's The Look-It-Up Book of First Ladies (Random, 2001), Kenneth C. Davis's Don't Know Much about the Presidents (HarperCollins, 2002), and Judith St. Georges's So You Want to Be President? (Philomel, 2000) are better choices.-Rebecca Luhman, Greece Central School District, Rochester, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Susan Treadway M.Ed.
Within the "Smart About..." series of fact-filled pages, students find both general and specific information about a variety of topics primarily in social studies, but also art and science. Cartoon-like illustrations are bright and colorful. They bring personalities of notable figures to life while the fonts have fanciful embellishments. Similar formatting and style suggest an actual report, particularly since the books include an introductory letter "From the desk of Ms. Brandt." There is also a note of response telling their teacher how the project went, some of what was learned, and an antidote or two. For instance, in this particular book, basic questions are answered in the beginning. "Who is the first lady? What does she do?" Then, there is a brief description of the White House along with a simple map of the layout. From First Lady Martha Dandridge Custis Washington through First Lady Michelle Robinson Obama, each page offers a short first-person account as if she is actually speaking to the reader or an audience. How have roles changed? What are some of their individual interests? First ladies might share what daily life is like, something about their family, how they participated in politics, or other important aspects of their time in the White House. In addition, they offer one more key insight about their experience by completing the phrase: "While I lived in the White House..." the completion of the sentence appears as if handwritten. By using a kid-friendly approach and a mix of fun facts with sound historical perspective, readers will utilize the series as a quick reference, to launch further study, for single or group work, and as a basic source. Books might also be an appropriate model for creating reports and projects geared to middle elementary children. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780448437255
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: Smart About History Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Sally Warner (www.sallywarner.com) has published more than twenty novels for young readers, including the Emma and EllRay Jakes series. She lives in Altadena, California with her husband and their not-so-miniature dachshund, Rocky.

Jill Weber lives on a farm in New Hampshire with her husband and their pets. She has illustrated many books for adults and for children.

Sally Warner (www.sallywarner.com) has published more than twenty novels for young readers, including the Emma and EllRay Jakes series. She lives in Altadena, California with her husband and their not-so-miniature dachshund, Rocky. 

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