Nicole's Reviews > So You Want to Be President?

So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George
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's review
Feb 25, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 571, picture-books, caldecott, non-fiction
Read on February 25, 2011

Lively illustrations accompany nontraditional anecdotes about the past Presidents. Some tales are humorous, some are heroic, but all tell more about the men behind the position and the qualities that made so many of them great.

Audience (may include primary and secondary audiences, if applicable)
K- 3rd

Age-appropriate booktalk
Did you know George Washington was our first President? Did you know that he had eight brothers and sisters? Andrew Johnson was our 17th President and he couldn’t read until he was 14! You know the Obama girls have a new dog, but did you know that Theodore Roosevelt, who was our 26th President, and his family had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, snakes, mice, rats, badgers, raccoons, parrots and even a pony at the White House?!?! Do you know where I learned all of that? I read it in So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George. You should check it out and learn more funny and surprising facts about the past Presidents of the United States.

Strengths/weaknesses (as applicable)
The anecdotes and illustrations bring to life these former Presidents who might seem old and staid to some young children, based on their readings in a traditional biography. Knowing that some presidents didn’t eat broccoli, or fought or went skinny dipping makes them much more interesting.

This book is a bit dated, only covering the presidents through Bill Clinton. A new version published in 2004 includes George W. Bush, but so far there has not been an update to include Barack Obama.

How could I use this book? (situations, groups, events, holidays, etc)
Great for learning about American history, the Presidents, President’s Day.

Read-alikes
What Does the President Look Like By Jane Hampton Cook, Adam Ziskie (Illustrator)
~ Various media from across the centuries show how Presidents have been portrayed.

What Presidents Are Made Of by Hanoch Piven
~ Anecdotes and portraits of select Presidents. Portraits are created using a chalked background and facial form with found objects (e.g. bullets, marshmallows, chain links) creating the distinct features.

If These Walls Could Talk: Family Life at the White House By Jane O’Connor, Gary Hovland (Illustrator)
~ Humorous and surprising anecdotes about the activities of First Families in the White House.

Madam President By Lane Smith
~ A young girl imagines the activities, both real and far fetched, that fill her day when she is president. (fiction)

Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution by Laurie Halse Anderson, Matt Faulkner (Illustrator)
~ The women and girls who worked behind the scenes to fight for our freedom are highlighted through anecdotes and cartoon style illustrations. A timeline noting major events of the Revolutionary War helps readers connect the new story to what they have learned already.

Awards
2000 Caldecott Medal
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