Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and what the Neighbors Thought)
by Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt, 2011
Harcourt Children's Books 2011, reviewed from library copy
Using a conversational style, regular "important" history and background - like former jobs, college, and marriages - is mixed with more personal information about our nation's Presidents. Each man is afforded only a few pages, keeping the descriptions tight and the book easy to dip into, making it a great selection for the classroom. The illustrations have a caricature feel to them incorporating hobbies, favorite things, and places. Some have backgrounds that fill out the places where they are from, but not all. There may be some sly digs like "A man of many appetitles, Clinton loved to schmooze." but the book doesn't shy away from mention of his affairs and impeachment hearings. As a sample of the writing on our still-current President Obama: "He tries to be healthy, but it's not entirely clear whether his promise to quit smoking has worked out. He eats salads, zucchini quesadillas, and Michelle's shrimp linguini, but never beets - he hates them." Fun insight combined with standard biographical facts offers a unique perspective in a concise and interesting book.
Nonfiction Monday is hosted today at The Flatt Perspective.
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