Gr 7-10This book describes the recreational activities enjoyed by presidents throughout our history, explains the importance of such outlets for those who hold that high-stress office, and shows readers how their differing personalities influenced their choices of pastimes. Sullivan's final chapter, ``Looking Back,'' shows the ways presidents (and regular, ordinary people) played before the advent of modern, organized sports, detailing such activities as hunting, fishing, riding, and shooting. There are numerous, candid, action photos and illustrations reproduced in black and white, as well as an appendix that provides the height, weight, and sporting interests of each president. Sullivan writes well and the topic will draw some casual browsers, but its narrowness of scope will restrict the book's use for reports. It is a good companion to Barbara Seuling's The Last Cow on the White House Lawn (Ivy, 1992) and Sid Frank and Arden Melick's Presidents (Hammond, 1982), and should be considered as an additional purchase.Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO
While the title is unlikely to send this book zinging off the shelves, the subject, particular sports and the presidents who played them, might make this a source of report material for sports fans. Sullivan draws readers through bits of history and allows them to identify with a fellow enthusiast who happened to be in the White House. Readers probably won't be drawn to sports like horseshoes or medicine ball, and they might find a president who appears in running shorts a little embarrassing. Still, what kid could resist learning that Calvin Coolidge, who liked to ride, sometimes rode a mechanical horse and laughed while he did it?