So You Want to Be President?

( 22 )

Overview

This new version of the Caldecott-winning classic by illustrator David Small and author Judith St. George is updated with current facts and new illustrations to include our forty-second president, George W. Bush. There are now three Georges in the catalog of presidential names, a Bush alongside the presidential family tree, and a new face on the endpaper portraiture.
Hilariously illustrated by Small, this celebration by St. George shows us the foibles, quirks and humanity of ...

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Overview

This new version of the Caldecott-winning classic by illustrator David Small and author Judith St. George is updated with current facts and new illustrations to include our forty-second president, George W. Bush. There are now three Georges in the catalog of presidential names, a Bush alongside the presidential family tree, and a new face on the endpaper portraiture.
Hilariously illustrated by Small, this celebration by St. George shows us the foibles, quirks and humanity of forty-two men who have risen to one of the most powerful positions in the world. Perfect for this election year—and every year!

Presents an assortment of facts about the qualifications and characteristics of U.S. presidents, from George Washington to Bill Clinton.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
On the heels of a history-making presidential election, it seems fitting that the winner of the 2001 Caldecott Medal is David Small, the illustrator for a delightfully mischievous picture book highlighting the historical triumphs and troubles of our first 41 presidents. So You Want to Be President? teams Small, a prior Caldecott Honor winner, with writer Judith St. George, the award-winning author of more than 25 children's books, including several histories. Together, they explore historical and anecdotal evidence in an effort to determine what it takes to be president. The result is an entertaining and educational book filled with comical anecdotes, comparative facts, and Small's humorous, noble, and occasionally irreverent illustrations.

St. George starts by noting some good things about being president (never having to take out the garbage or eat yucky vegetables), as well as some bad things (having to dress up all the time and be polite to everyone). She then compares and contrasts the backgrounds, qualifications, and characteristics of all 41 presidents, including such things as where they lived, how big their families were, their level of education, and the shape of their physiques. She talks about religion and rhetoric, personalities and philosophies, and tragedies and triumphs. Some of the facts are well known by most, but there are lots of lesser-known backroom tidbits, too.

Readers can learn about John Quincy Adams's skinny-dipping fiasco, Franklin Pierce's embarrassing first battle, and the specially made giant tub that was built for our portliest President, William Howard Taft. When it comes to presidential qualifications, St. George touches on some serious ones (honesty and integrity) as well as some frivolous ones (musical aptitude and dancing ability). At the end of the book is a listing of each president that includes biographical information and an insightful one-line commentary summarizing his time in office. Often it is the seemingly insignificant facts that give this book its down-to-earth appeal and make it an utter delight to read.

Adding to the fun are Small's cleverly rendered drawings -- colorful caricatures that highlight, skewer, and provide a political commentary all their own. Most of the humor will be obvious to young readers, but a few of Small's subtler details will require an older eye and a keen sense of satire, making this a fun book for readers of all ages.

--Beth Amos

Children's Literature - Charles Wyman
What could be better for an election year than a tongue-in-cheek look at our forty-three (updated from the original book that featured only forty-one) Presidents? Judith St. George has provided the facts—an amazing assemblage of tidbits, such as the frequency of names (six were called James) and the fact that eight were born in log cabins. The best news for those who have presidential aspirations is that size does not matter. Presidents have ranged in height from five feet four inches (James Madison) to six feet four inches (Abraham Lincoln). Looks also have not been a great issue, but truthfully in this reviewer's opinion, television has probably changed that. Each page offers amusing information and it is made even more delightful with David Small's caricatures. His scene of the presidential band accompanied by George Washington on the dance floor and Abraham Lincoln asking Mary Todd to dance is quite funny. Lincoln, as the text notes, was not much of a dancer, but Washington and Wilson look like they could really cut the rug. The scene of Jesse Jackson and Geraldine Ferraro waiting in the wings is gone since we now have a person of color as President. We still have not elected a woman. Kids and adults will enjoy the fun and come away with plenty of good information and fuel for their own presidential aspirations. Reviewer: Charles Wyman
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This lighthearted, often humorous roundup of anecdotes and trivia is cast as a handbook of helpful hints to aspiring presidential candidates. St. George Sacagawea; Crazy Horse points out that it might boost your odds of being elected if your name is James the moniker of six former presidents or if your place of birth was a humble dwelling "You probably weren't born in a log cabin. That's too bad. People are crazy about log-cabin Presidents. They elected eight". She serves up diverse, occasionally tongue-in-cheek tidbits and spices the narrative with colorful quotes from her subjects. For instance, she notes that "Warren Harding was a handsome man, but he was one of our worst Presidents" due to his corrupt administration, and backs it up with one of his own quotes, "I am not fit for this office and never should have been here." Meanwhile, Small The Gardener shows Harding crowned king of a "Presidential Beauty Contest"; all the other presidents applaud him except for a grimacing Nixon. The comical, caricatured artwork emphasizes some of the presidents' best known qualities and amplifies the playful tone of the text. For an illustration of family histories, Small depicts eight diminutive siblings crawling over a patient young George Washington; for another featuring pre-presidential occupations, Harry Truman stands at the cash register of his men's shop while Andrew Johnson a former tailor makes alterations on movie star Ronald Reagan's suit. The many clever, quirky asides may well send readers off on a presidential fact-finding mission--and spark many a discussion of additional anecdotes. A clever and engrossing approach to the men who have led America. Ages 7-up. Aug. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
By happy coincidence, here in the wake of the recent controversial national election is an hilariously irreverent—but not, in the final analysis, disrespectful—collective portrait of our newest chief executive's forty-one predecessors. While suggesting to readers with that certain dream that being president might not be all fun and games ("The President can't go anywhere alone. The President has lots of homework. People get mad at the President."), Judith St. George shows the men who have held the office not as remote, Olympian figures, but as human beings: short, tall, plain, handsome, proud, humble, with favorite or despised foods, "pesky brothers and sisters," pets, personal foibles, and various levels of competence. Eight, as it turns out, were born in log houses, no fewer than ten were generals, one (Andrew Johnson) was trained as a tailor, one (you know who) was a professional actor. Some were the very image of dignity and reserve; others—well, a friend of Teddy Roosevelt once commented, "You must always remember that the President is about six." Combining well-honed skills as a caricaturist and a broad streak of mischief to such good effect that he earned this year's Caldecott Medal for these illustrations, David Small pays tribute to political cartoonists everywhere: outfitting squads of easily recognizable former presidents as cheerleaders in one scene; suspending William Howard Taft, our heftiest president, in a sling over his custom-built bathtub in another; depicting feisty Andrew Jackson decking an opponent, Richard Nixon flashing his "V for Victory" in the White House bowling alley, and again, slinking with Bill Clinton, like a pair of schoolboyscaught in the act, down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial beneath the sixteenth president's huge, frowning visage. In the end, below a somber view of Lincoln standing solitary and pensive in a darkened office, St. George quotes the simple, thirty-five-word oath each president has recited, and while noting that some fulfilled their charge less successfully than others, invites readers to pattern themselves after the best, who "asked more of themselves than they thought they could give," and "had the courage, spirit, and will to do what they knew was right." Children—including a handful who will be occupying the Oval Office one day—will come away from this not only with a heightened sense of how important, and demanding, the job of president is, but with a feeling of connection to the men who have held it, for better or worse, over the course of our nation's long history. 2000, Philomel, $17.99. Ages 8 up. Reviewer: John Peters — The Five Owls, March/April 2001 (Vol. 15 No. 4)
Children's Literature
Today's children are future American voters and there is no better time to view government in action than around an election year. Here is a new book that earns my vote of confidence as discussion starters. The presidential office is the best place to start with younger children. It is currently getting the most attention and is most familiar to them. A playful, ebullient explanation of what the office really means is provided. St. George puts the presidency in the context of children, observing, for example, that there are both good and bad things about being President. One of the good things is that the President lives in a big white house called the White House. St. George goes on to share more good news (there is a bowling alley at the White House and you don't have to eat vegetables) and some bad news (you have to be polite and do lots of homework). She describes the office through the personalities and characteristics of past presidents with the kind of trivia children like. She discusses categories like size (and Taft's four man tub), age, personality (Andrew Jackson was a big brawler), siblings, and athletics (John Quincy Adams liked to skinny-dip). Her tone is light and Small's accompanying illustrations are rendered in a political cartoon style, showing presidents of different eras cavorting across the pages together. St. George and Small make history seem fun, the office attractive, and America's presidents human. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Susie Wilde
From The Critics
This unique book discusses curious and interesting information about past presidents. The book is highly respectful of the presidential office, yet it is candid about the faults of many of the presidents. The language is accessible, interesting, and humorous. I loved it! It would make a really good gift. The cartoon-style style illustrations are a riot! 2000, Philomel Books, $17.99. Ages 5 to 12. Reviewer: A. Braga SOURCE: Parent Council Volume 8
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Curious tidbits of personal information and national history combine with humorously drawn caricatures to give this tongue-in-cheek picture book a quirky appeal. "There are good things about being President and there are bad things about being President." So begins a walk through a brief history of facts, successes, oddities, and mishaps. For example, most readers won't know that William Howard Taft weighed over 300 pounds and ordered a specially made bathtub. Small's drawing of a naked Taft being lowered into a water-filled tub by means of a crane should help them remember. Another spread depicts a men's shop where Andrew Johnson a tailor fits Ronald Reagan an actor for a suit while Harry Truman a haberdasher stands behind the counter. While the text exposes the human side of the individuals, the office of the presidency is ultimately treated with respect and dignity. A list of presidents with terms of office, birthplace, date of birth and death, and a one-sentence summary of their accomplishments is provided. This title will add spark to any study of this popular subject.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Steven R. Weisman
So You Want to Be President? is easy enough to read even for children in the lower grades, but like many such books it is ideally enjoyed by a child with an adult. That way, its rich anecdotes provoke questions, answers, definitions, recollections and more anecdotes...
New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Just in time for the presidential election, St. George (In the Line of Fire: Presidents Lives at Stake, 1999, etc.) uses the experiences of our 42 presidents to counsel youngsters harboring that uniquely American desire—to be president. Reflecting on the "good things about being President and . . . bad things about being President . . ." she offers a pleasingly diverse slate of facts and figures for her readers' consideration: age (the oldest—Reagan; the youngest—Teddy Roosevelt), size (the smallest—Madison—at 100 lbs., contrasting with Taft, at over 300), career choices (generals, lawyers, haberdashers, farmers), first names (six Jameses, four Johns, four Williams, two Georges, two Franklins), education (nine presidents never went to college, while one—Andrew Johnson—"didn't learn to write until after he was married"). At the close of this sometimes wry, sometimes sober survey (including impeachments, wars, and assassinations), St. George encourages: "If you want to be president—a good president—pattern yourself after the best . . . [those who] have asked more of themselves than they thought they could give . . . They [who] have had the courage, spirit, and will to do . . . [what's] right." Small's (The Huckabuck Family, 1999, etc.) pitch-perfect caricatures, rendered in a mix of watercolor, ink, and pastel, expand on the personalities and support the narrative's shifting moods. There's a helpful key to every illustration and a presidential chronology from Washington to Clinton. Even a few "non-presidents" are featured: Pat Nixon and Henry Kissingerwatch (with future PresidentFord) President Nixon bowl in the White House lanes, and there's a wonderfully wry glimpse of two "also-ran's"—Jesse Jackson and Geraldine Ferraro—excluded from an across-the-centuries presidential reception by a velvet rope. A superb, kid-centered survey and a perfect way to enliven the perennial class unit on the presidents. (Nonfiction. 7-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399243172
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 8/19/2004
  • Edition description: Revised & Updated Edition
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 54,034
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.36 (w) x 11.84 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith St. George has published dozens of successful nonfiction books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning So You Want to Be President? and the historical Turning Point series, including You’re On Your Way, Teddy RooseveltStand Tall, Abe Lincoln; and Take the Lead, George Washington. You can visit her online at www.judithstgeorge.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

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(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 31, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    See full review @ The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com        It c

    See full review @ The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com

           It comes as no surprise that there has been some controversy over this book. What IS surprising, is the lack of knowledge people have displayed in their reviews in regard to our Nation's history and legal terms. So before I really get into my review, let's lay down some foundation in which my opinion has been based:

    1) The term "impeached" refers to the process in which a President can be prosecuted. It does NOT mean that the President has been barred from office. That being said, Bill Clinton WAS impeached on both accounts of perjury and obstruction of justice, and THEN he was acquitted. Being this is a children's picture book and not an in-depth historical biography of the Presidents (and also to avoid getting into issues that are a little mature for young kids), I would say the author was limited, yet accurate, here.

    2) To say a book is "inaccurate" because it was written before the information in it changed is not the author's fault. Authors of classic literature wrote within the societal norms or the purview of their present knowledge such as segregation or women's suffrage, but nobody complains that Shakespeare never gave Macduff an AK-47 to slay Macbeth because it is understood that guns were invented after his time, and, unfortunately, Shakespeare is not here to revise it to fit present day. (This book has since been revised to include Obama, so as of right now, this comment doesn't entirely apply)

    3) A Caldecott Award is an award for illustrations, not text.

    4) If you are a teacher, I really hope you encourage your kids to research facts. But I desperately hope that you also obtain facts yourself. That doesn't mean you have to like a book, but I am honestly shocked at how many people claimed they were teachers and yet, did not understand what the terms in this book meant. The poor author and illustrator had to suffer in ratings because of people's ignorance. Better to have an erudite opinion than a fallacious one that leads hundreds of little innocent minds astray.

    Now that's established, let's press forward.

    Judith St. George and David Small tag-team to create a hilarious paraphrase of all 44 Presidents. If you were looking for an entertaining way to present this bit of history to your kids or students, this is a great way to do it. Well, I also think a presidential version of Guess Who? would be fun, too.

    We are given random bits of (often useless) information about each President that humanizes them, making them relatable. Some exemplifications may seem like a little TMI or downright absurd, but if you can look at it light-heartedly it can actually be entertaining and keep your child's interest.

    David Smalls creates images that extend the story, almost portraying their own asides. They add to the comedy of the lyric in the form of caricatures, exaggerating the truth just a smidgen.

    In my humble opinion, I think this is a fantastic book to introduce your child or students to Presidents. It totally beats trying to keep their attention through a 44-minute-or-so-snooze-fest. I understand that some people may not like the extreme comedy, but I thought it was hilarious and would use it in my own classroom. Just be sure that if you elaborate on what's in the book, your information is accurate.

    Great comical debut of the Presidents for young kids!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    A good book

    Easy to buy on line. And delivery was on time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2011

    Great book

    So, You Want to be President by Judith St. George is about all of our presidents, starting with George Washington and ending with George W. Bush. St. George presents her information in a true, yet very comical way. Each president is introduced with some facts about each president. Not all the facts in this story are about politics, some facts are random personal facts about the presidents, such as that Taft had to build a bigger bath tub for the white house so he could fit. The illustrations of this story help make this story an amusing student. I would recommend other teachers to use this book at a variety of times throughout the school year. This would go along extremely well when it is President's Day. The students will be able to learn about the different presidents and little facts about each president. If there is an election approaching, this book would also work well. Students can predict who will be the next president and also make predictions about facts about the new president. This book can be used as a great writing lesson. Students can decide who will be the nest president and then write the next page for the story. Art can also be incorporated so students can also illustrate the next page in the book. A fun way to use this book is to have students write a page in the story as if they were the president. What interesting facts would they want the world to know about themselves? So, You Want to be President is a book that would work well for students of all ages. I would implement many subjects into this lesson, such as social students, writing, and art. As of now, the only downfall to this book is that our current president, Obama, is not featured in this book. However, this could be used as a writing lesson so that students write about President Obama. I would recommend this book for teachers of all grades.

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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    So-So...

    Ok book. Has lots of info that makes it hard to follow at times. Some interesting facts though.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2009

    Why?

    This is so evil! This is a collage book! I never whent to collage! I am a lonely old lady too!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2007

    So You Want to be President

    This is a wonderful and very educational book for kids to learn about the presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton. This book's genre is historical. Former presidents of the US came from different backgrounds, has different interest, and different hobbies. They all lived in the White House but at different times. All the presidents looked different, had different personalities and were elected in different ways. To find out these interesting facts-Read the book! ST. George, Judith. So You Want to be President. New York: Philomel Books,2000.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2007

    A Presidential History

    This was a wonderful book that I would encourage any parent to read to his/her fourth grader. The book gives an insight into the duties that are required of the President of the United States. It tells the perks of being President, such as, indoor theatre, swimming pool, and bowling alley. Along with the drawbacks, homework, never going out alone, and being dressed up all of the time. Throughout each page we are informed of brief history and trivia of forty-nine presidents. It was a wonderfully, enjoyable read with lots of colorful and comical art work. I would recommend it to anyone who would like their child to gain a better understanding of U.S. history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2007

    'So You Want to Be President?'

    I really enjoyed reading the book. At first looking the the title I wasn't really sure if it would be that interesting. The title of the book wasn't an eye catcher but it fits the storyline of the book. Judith St. George has written many nonfiction books. She does a lot of research that not only includes the use of a library but she also visited the settings. We always see being President as a future goal. Who wouldn't want to be president? While the book is somewhat comical it can also be looked at to show children that even a president as perfect as you may think they may be they are just as simple as any other human. For instance in the book she writes 'Almost any job can lead to the White House. Presidnets have been lawyers, teachers, farmers, sailors, engineers, surveyors, mayors, governors, congressman, senators, and ambassadors. (Harry Truman owned a men's shop. Andrew Johnson was a tailor. Ronald Reagan was a movie actor!).' The illustrations in the book were colorful and resembles a political cartoon. The book was just a delightful book to read learning different facts about our colorful mix of presidents.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2006

    There is a President in all of us!

    Do you want to be President? Learn about the many personalities, talents, downfalls, and so on by reading So You Want to Be President by Judith St. George and David Small. Judith St. George has been writing childrens book for more than 25 years and has earned many awards. Some awards have been the New York Academy of Sciences Award. Hear books are kid friendly books about history's most famous people. David Small who is the illustrator of the book is known for his mischievously rendered drawings. This book is a non-fictional picture book that gives the history of 41 of our Presidents. This gives insight into the lives of the Presidents. Details are given about the activities the like, their pets, their families, and even their careers before the were President. The book major them is to tell the readers that no matter who you are you could be president because they are all different and unique in their own ways. In other words they are just like us only they live in a big White House.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Yes, you could be president!

    This book is full of historical facts that are presented in an interesting and comical way. Its main theme is that any one can be president. You can be from a rich or poor background. You can be big or small. The illustrations are presented like caricatures of the past presidents. They really bring life to the book. It is chopped full of important as well as, trivia information on America¿s presidents. For example, we find out that Theodore Roosevelt¿s children had so many pets it was like they ran a zoo. They even had a Shetland pony called Algonquin who took a ride in the White House elevator. This book is a great read for children and adults a like.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2006

    So You Want to be President?

    This Caldecott Medal Award Winner is very educational for the younger audiences. Also, its easy for the smaller audiences to comprehend the information. There are also hilarious kid-friendly illustrations by the award winning David Small. This picture book is full of accurate information of forty-two presidents from George Washington to Bill Clinton. The classification for this book would definitely fall into the biography or autobiography genre. The main theme for this book is to provide bibliographic information to the reader and audience. The age groups suitable for this book would be eight to twelve years. The author of this book is Judith St. George which has written over 25 children¿s books and won numerous awards. The illustrator David Small is also well known and has achieved numerous awards for his works. St. George, Judith. So You Want to be President? New York: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 2000.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Cooper's Review

    This book has a humorous cast with helpful hints to aspiring presidential candidates. St. George (Sacagawea Crazy Horse) points out that it might boost your odds of being elected if your name is James (the moniker of six former presidents) or if your place of birth was a humble dwelling ('You probably weren't born in a log cabin. That's too bad. People are crazy about log-cabin Presidents. They elected eight'). She notes that 'Warren Harding was a handsome man, but he was one of our worst Presidents' due to his corrupt administration, and backs it up with one of his own quotes, 'I am not fit for this office and never should have been here.' Meanwhile, Small (The Gardener) shows Harding crowned king of a 'Presidential Beauty Contest' all the other presidents applaud him (except for a grimacing Nixon). The comical, artwork emphasizes some of the presidents' best known qualities. Small depicts eight diminutive siblings crawling over a patient young George Washington for another featuring pre-presidential occupations, Harry Truman stands at the cash register of his men's shop while Andrew Johnson (a former tailor) makes alterations on movie star Ronald Reagan's suit. The many clever, pictures may send readers off on a presidential fact-finding mission. This clever book is for ages 9-12 and it won a Caldecott Medal in 2001.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Presidents

    ¿There are good things about being President and there are bad things about being President.¿ This informative book tells many facts about our country¿s presidents. For example: they came in all shapes and sizes some were liked and some were disliked some were nice and some were not so nice, and some were handsome and some were homely looking. This wonderful book is the perfect way to introduce children the United States Presidents. It is full of unique facts, everything from their pets to their musical preference. But the bottom line is if you want to be president you have to make the people and the country your top priority. Judith St. George fills this children¿s book with numerous facts about the past and present president and it is written in a way that the readers forget they are actually learning something.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2002

    THIS BOOK IS COOL

    So you want to be a president tells you all about the diffrent ways the presidents in the past got elected. It also tells you about their individual lives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2002

    Great facts about president

    My daughter and I have read this book together. Her class is studying Washington and Lincoln because of President's Day. She loved the bath tub for Taft.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2001

    Funny,Infomative

    I reall,really enjoyed this book! Even though I'm going in to sixth grade think this a great book! It's funny infomative and explains the huge duty of being the president in a Fun,laid-back way. This is a must for any kid interested in politics.Thinks it's aimed for about 7 years olds but it's a book anybody can enjoy. Get it today!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2001

    A Child's Perspective on What's Involved in Being President

    This book provides the most fun view of the past presidents that it has been my pleasure to read. Around age 3, most children begin to think about what they want to do 'when I grow up.' Speculation often centers around visible careers like being a mommy, teacher, nurse, fireman, doctor or gas station attendant (at least in our family). So You Want to Be President brilliantly captures that young child's perspective by looking at the pros (you have a house to live in, the White House, and some pretty neat sports alternatives) and cons (it's hard and difficult work), and goes on to point out that people from many backgrounds with different skills (from soldiers to store clerks) have become president. The result is to make the idea of becoming president more interesting and accessible. Who knows? This book may even inspire your child to become a great president (of some volunteer organization, if not of the United States). Wouldn't that be wonderful! The presidents are taken off of their monumental marble thrones, and presented here as real people. There is humor. Lincoln denied he was two-faced because that would be a mistake in light of the face he had (he was not the most attractive fellow). There is honesty. Clinton and Nixon lied and suffered for it. There is trivia. How many presidents had their clothes stolen by female reporters while skinny dipping? There is religious information. All of the presidents have been Protestants or Catholics. You get statistics on how many vice presidents have made it to the top job, and how. Unless you are a trivia expert on the presidency, at least some of this will be new to you. All of it will be new, and most of it interesting, to your child. The book ends with some very good advice (no matter what profession or occupation you pursue). 'If you want to be President -- a good President -- pattern yourself after the best.' 'Most of all, their first priority has always been the people and the country they served.' Can you think of any set of better standards for leadership? Caldecott Award winners are selected for their illustrations. You will find David Small's work here as rewarding as Judith St. George's text. He makes brilliant use of variable thickness ink for distinctive, impressionistic outlines of people and objects. The outlines strengthen and define warm watercolor splashes and washes. The result is the sort of feeling provided by illustrations I have seen from the 18th century, when our country was founded. Yet the facial expressions and bodies are friendly caricatures that humanize their subjects. I really felt for John Quincy Adams stuck in that river while the reporter ran off with his clothes. There's also a sprightliness reminiscent of the way Disney draws Jiminy Cricket. Here are three trivia questions that will give you a sense of the book: 1. Who was Harry Truman's vice president? 2. What favorite story did he tell about becoming vice president? 3. What musical instruments did both Harry Truman and Richard Nixon play? After you have enjoyed this book many times, I suggest that you and your child pick out some other, less visible occupations, and talk about them in the same way. This format will help you make the work alternatives that are currently unknown to your child much more real and interesting. Don't forget to point out all of the many ways that we need presidents in our society. From the PTA to the largest corporation, we can never have too many good leaders. Help your child find places where she or he can be him- or herself, do her or his best, and serve others in a way that makes him or her feel terrific! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2000

    Interesting

    This book is fun and fact filled. It gives straight forward advice to children who are interested in becoming President one day by including both positive and negative aspects of the job. The author even lets children realize that even the President of the United States isn't perfect. The illustrations are wonderful, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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