Book: So You Want to Be President?

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Book:

So You Want to Be President?

Author: Judith St. George, David Small
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Publisher: Philomel Books

So you want to be President! Why not? Presidents have come in every variety. They’ve been generals like George Washington and actors like Ronald Reagan, big like William Howard Taft and small like James Madison, handsome like Franklin Pierce and homely like Abraham Lincoln.

From the embarrassment of skinny-dipping John Quincy Adams to the mischievous adventure of Theodore Roosevelt’s pony, Judith St. George shares the backroom facts, the spitfire comments, and the comical anecdotes that have been part and parcel of America’s White House.

Hilariously illustrated by Caldecott honor-winning artist David Small, this celebration shows us the foibles, quirks, and the humanity of forty-one men who have risen to one of the most powerful positions in the world.

Reviews

Amazon.com

Tired of books about the presidency that present themselves as history books? Author Judith St. George—along with Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator David Small—has created a book about the presidency that’s serious fun. The basic theme is that anyone can be president: a fat man (William Howard Taft) or a tiny man (James Madison), a relative youngster (Teddy Roosevelt at 42) or oldster (Ronald Reagan at 69). Presidential hobbies, sports, virtues, and vices all get a tongue-in-cheek airing, perfectly matched by Small’s political-cartoon style of caricature painting. It’s fun, but the underlying purpose is clearly serious: to remind kids that the American presidents have been a motley group of individuals, not a row of marble busts. Ironically, that message makes the presidency far more interesting (and appealing) than it seems in some of the more traditional books. There’s a factual addendum at the back giving all the dates and names, with a one-line bio for each past-president. (Ages 8 and older) —Richard Farr
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