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Posted May 31, 2014
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!
Posted July 25, 2012
Posted July 5, 2011
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 24, 2009
Posted January 16, 2009
Posted February 19, 2007
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 26, 2007
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 12, 2007
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 16, 2006
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2006
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 2, 2006
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2006
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2006
¿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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 8, 2002
Posted February 21, 2002
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 20, 2001
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!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 31, 2001
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 SolutionWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 18, 2000
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 13, 2012
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Posted December 10, 2008
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