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“Election season” will be coming around soon enough and along the campaign trail is the inevitable mud slinging event and bad-mouthing of candidates. Throughout time, candidates and presidents have had their fair share of life’s lessons and many have been captured within the pages of children’s literature. This collection of books uses humor, amazingly unknown facts, and some history thrown in to encourage and inspire an up-close look at American Presidential politics.
I Grew Up to Be President by Laurie Calkhoven, illus by Rebecca Zomchek.
From George Washington to Barack Obama, this child’s is a child’s perfect introduction to all of the U.S. Presidents. On every spread, readers will learn about the Presidents’ childhoods, families, careers, accomplishments in office, and life after the White House. Famous quotes, major events, and fun facts are all included. With simple text and full-color illustrations and photographs throughout, every parent, teacher, and child will want this essential reference for their bookshelf.-Amazon
Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the True Story of an American Feud. By Suzanne Tripp Jurmain, illustrated by Larry Day.
John Adams was short, fat, and talkative. Thomas Jefferson was tall, thin, and quiet. Together, they made an excellent case for American Independence. But when Tom and John couldn’t agree whether a weak or strong presidency was better, they had a falling out that spanned their two presidencies and long into their retirements. Would they hold a grudge forever?-Amazon
Abraham Lincoln is one of the first giants of history children are introduced to, and now Maira Kalman brings him to life with her trademark style and enthusiasm. Lincoln’s legacy is everywhere – there he is on your penny and five-dollar bill. And we are still the United States because Lincoln helped hold them together.
But who was he, really? The little girl in this book wants to find out. Among the many other things, she discovers our sixteenth president was a man who believed in freedom for all, had a dog named Fido, loved Mozart, apples, and his wife’s vanilla cake, and kept his notes in his hat. From his boyhood in a log cabin to his famous presidency and untimely death, Kalman shares Lincoln’s remarkable life with young readers in a fresh and exciting way.-Amazon
The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems about Presidents. By Susan Katz , illustrated by Robert Neubecker.
Sure, William Taft got stuck in his tub, but did you know that John Quincy Adams used to skinny-dip in the Potomac? Herbert Hoover spoke Chinese with his wife, and Gerald Ford had his name changed from Leslie Lynch King. It’s true! In The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub, the lives of the presidents are served up as fact-filled and fanciful poems that will make you laugh, cringe, and gasp with amazement at the colorful cast of men and women who have lived in the White House. With footnotes relating the facts behind the inspiration for each poem, and a section called “Presidential Notes and Quotes” in the back, this is one hilarious history lesson that kids will elect to read over and over again!-Amazon
Those Rebels, John and Tom by Barbara Kerley , illus by Edwin Fotheringham.
With their signature wit, impeccable research, and inventive presentation style, award winners Barbara Kerley and Edwin Fotheringham masterfully blend biography and history to create a brilliant portrait of two American heroes who bravely set aside their differences to join forces in the fight for our country’s freedom.-Amazon
Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the country) By Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, ills. by Stacy Innerst
Poor Abraham Lincoln! His life was hardly fun at all. A country torn in two by war, citizens who didn’t like him as president, a homely appearance—what could there possibly be to laugh about? And yet he did laugh. Lincoln wasn’t just one of our greatest presidents. He was a comic storyteller and a person who could lighten a grim situation with a clever quip. This unusual biography of Lincoln highlights his life and presidency, focusing on what made his sense of humor so distinctive—and so necessary to surviving his tough life and times.-Amazon
“No picture accurately resembled him in the minute traits of his person . . . there was an expression of his face that no painter had succeeded in taking.” –London’s New Monthly Magazine in 1790 George Washington’s face has been painted, printed, and engraved more than a billion times since his birth in 1732. And yet even in his lifetime, no picture seemed to capture the likeness of the man who is now the most iconic of all our presidents. Worse still, people today often see this founding father as the “old and grumpy” Washington on the dollar bill. In 2005 a team of historians, scientists, and artisans at Mount Vernon set out to change the image of our first president. They studied paintings and sculptures, pored over Washington’s letters to his tailors and noted other people’s comments about his appearance, even closely examined the many sets of dentures that had been created for Washington. Join award-winning author Carla Killough McClafferty as she unveils the statues of the three Georges and rediscovers the man who became the face of a new nation.-Amazon
George Washington’s Birthday: A Mostly True Tale by Margaret McNamara, illus by Barry Blitt
From award-winning author Margaret McNamara and New Yorker artist Barry Blitt comes this partly true and completely funny story of George Washington’s 7th birthday. In this clever approach to history, readers will discover the truths and myths about George Washington. Did George Washington wear a wig? No. Did George Washington cut down a cherry tree? Probably not. Readers young and old who are used to seeing George Washington as an old man, will get a new look at the first president—as a kid. Perfect for classrooms, Presidents’ Day, or as a birthday gift.-Amazon
Once there were four lads..John [Hancock],Paul [Revere],George [Washington],and Ben [Franklin].Oh yes, there was also Tom [Jefferson], but he was annoyingly independent and hardly ever around. These lads were always getting into trouble for one reason or another. In other words, they took a few…liberties. And to be honest, they were not always appreciated.This is the story of five little lads before they became five really big Founding Fathers.-Amazon
Where do Presidents come from? And Other Presidential Stuff of Super Great Importance by Michael Townsend.
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.
Mr. President Goes to School by Rick Walton, illustrated by Brad Sneed.
Everyone has bad days. Even the President. So when his day starts off badly, Mr. President decides he is in need of a time-out from running the country. Disguising himself, he sneaks out of the White House, hurries down the street to the local school and enrolls in Mrs. Appletree s kindergarten class. There Mr. President slides his fingers through globs of finger paint. He spins around and around on the merry-go-round at recess. He learns to say please, to raise his hand and to take turns. Back at the White House he is greeted by a panicked Secretary if State and two angry world leaders on the brink of war. But Mr. President remembers what he learned that day in Mrs.Appletree s class and he knows just what to do to avoid an international crisis.-Amazon
Any of these books a favorite? Do you have a “Presidential” book to add to our list?
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FREE Gift! Free 180 Multicultural Book Ideas ebook to inspired fun Summer Reading!
School is out and our youngsters are settling into a new summer routine of sleeping in and hopefully doing some exploring and discovering. With the hectic days of summer just beginning, oftentimes one of the first habit to go by the wayside is the habit of daily reading.
Reading is always an important part of our children’s lives no matter what time of year it is so I decided to wrap my knowledge of fun kidlit books and activities up with my experience as one of the co-founders of the very successful Multicultural Children’s Book Day and create a unique resource for parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer. Reading is important, but so is helping our young readers learn about other cultures, religions and traditions through the pages of these books. Here are some great booklists and resources that I have created over the years at Jump Into a Book that will not only give parents and readers great ideas on diverse kids’ books, but fun activities related to books that will bring stories to life!
Sign up below for quick and free access to 180 Multicultural Book Ideas: World Travel through Kidlit Summer Reading!