Where Do Presidents Come From?: And Other Presidential Stuff of Super Great Importance

Overview

So You Want to Be President meets The Far Side!

Just in time for the 2012 election, Michael Townsend presents his comic book guide to everything you ever wanted to know (and maybe a few things you didn't!) about the President of the United States. It's full of insanely weird facts about our leaders (Did you know that President Coolidge had a pet pygmy hippo named Billy?), as well as the history and powers of the presidency, day-to-day life, and pros and cons of the job. Even the...

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Where Do Presidents Come From?: And Other Presidential Stuff of Super Great Importance (PagePerfect NOOK Book)

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Overview

So You Want to Be President meets The Far Side!

Just in time for the 2012 election, Michael Townsend presents his comic book guide to everything you ever wanted to know (and maybe a few things you didn't!) about the President of the United States. It's full of insanely weird facts about our leaders (Did you know that President Coolidge had a pet pygmy hippo named Billy?), as well as the history and powers of the presidency, day-to-day life, and pros and cons of the job. Even the most mundane of facts become hilarious in this brilliantly cheeky guide to our nation's MVP.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this cheerful, colorful book, Townsend introduces grade-schoolers to the lives and responsibilities of the president of the United States, as well as the constitutional separation of powers and the history of the White House. With the help of a pink bunny, some monkeys, and assorted other animals and children, he breezily walks readers through the early history of the country, from the Revolution through the Bill of Rights. Townsend is particularly good at explaining the complexities of the different branches of government in a clear, humorous manner. Throughout, the chaotic cartoon panels balance text with images well, making it easy to digest the large amount of information included in a relatively small space. An overlong section on the history of the White House drags, however. And Townsend seems to pick and choose when he will address complex, possibly upsetting material. He does not always steer away from difficult information, including the assassination of presidents and the fate of deserters during the Revolution. But his celebration of George Washington and the Constitution never mentions slavery. Ages 8–up. (Sept.)
Booklist
It's hard enough to cover the American presidency-from its origins in the Revolutionary War to the structure of our government, through presidential responsibilities, and into the story of the White House itself-but to pack in amusing historical anecdotes that invite young readers to branch out in their reading, and to populate it with humorous bunnies, annoyed robots, and recurring gags that maintain their amusement without becoming tedious, is a unique achievement. The data, supported with a bibliography of sources, is the most thorough treatment of this subject available in this format, and the loopy caricatures and cartoonishly feverish depictions of places and events don't undermine the information, but miraculously serve to keep interest percolating through some high-density pages that touch on everything from George Washington's teeth to crucial constitutional amendments to presidential assassinations. An absolute necessity for school libraries
Children's Literature - Miranda McClain
For young readers the electoral process and American government can seem a trifle dry. However, throw in a handful of pink bunny rabbits and the odd monkey here and there and put it all in graphic novel format and it becomes something that can hold even the most reluctant reader's interest; and though at times the delivery may seem a bit irreverent it manages to pack an exorbitant amount of information into one book. Readers will not only learn where presidents come from but also how one is elected, what they do, and what happens after a president's term in office is over, not to mention why the White House is so awesome, all about the first president of the United States and much more. The author's goofy sense of humor will keep kids laughing as they are gaining an understanding of how the government works and he peppers his text with many interesting factoids that make the material anything but dry. This would be a great supplement to a unit on American Government or even American history as the first two chapters are chiefly about the birth of the nation. Reviewer: Miranda McClain
School Library Journal
Gr 4–9—From the author of the popular Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder (Dial, 2010) comes another educational book in graphic-novel format. Covering political history from the mid-1700s to the present day, this brightly colored volume uses humor and fast-paced panels to teach readers about how the office of the presidency was formed. At the start of the book, there is some (slightly superfluous) "pre-content content" designed to hook youngsters and prepare them for what they are about to learn. Topics include "How Does a President Get Elected?," "What Do Presidents Actually Do?, and "Why Is the White House So Awesome?" Fun, cartoon illustrations work with the text to provide clarity and additional information, and frequent text boxes highlight important facts. There is no index, making the book less a research tool than a pleasure read, but it is so chock-full of interesting tidbits and anecdotes that kids will no doubt find it useful to supplement their American history studies. An engaging and informative addition to most collections.—Rita Meade, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Townsend brings his high spirits and hijinks to bear, in comic-book format, on the life and responsibilities of the United States president. Despite all the corny, at times plain bizarre, jokes that saturate this story of the presidency, Townsend manages to cover considerable ground. The information imparted doesn't run particularly deep, but in simple, mostly jocose language, he manages to explain the Electoral College, the dangers of being president and the countermeasures that have been established, the roles of the president in foreign policy and as commander in chief, and how a presidential pardon works (including pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey), as well as a history of the White House and a vest-pocket biography of George Washington. Peppering the larger themes are scads of factoids, from George Bush tossing his lunch at a state dinner to Calvin Coolidge's pygmy hippo to the July 4th deaths of Adams, Jefferson and Monroe. The sheer density of material on the page can occasionally be overwhelming, with panels of text--lots of text--and drawings in a great chromatic swarm, though the rhythm and direction of the story is never in doubt. Now and then Townsend will throw in a nonsense panel, as much to keep readers on their toes as a stab at levity. A selective but revealing collection of presidential thises and thats, which put an appealingly human face on the executive branch. (Graphic nonfiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803737488
  • Publisher: Dial
  • Publication date: 9/13/2012
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,387,986
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Townsend lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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