Unless you work in retail, most of you will have this next Monday off of work in honor of the men who have led our country. The books on this list are primarily fact, rather than story driven: lots and lots of interesting facts about the men who have lived in the White House. Your grade school kids are going to eat up all the fascinating things our president’s have said and done, so here we go…
George Washington’s Teeth by Deborah Chandra, Madeleine Comora, and Brock Cole. Did you know that George Washington was plagued with tooth problems that began at the early age of 22? After reading this book, you’re kids just might willingly go visit the dentist. This book has great illustrations, it’s written in a fun rhyming verse, and the timeline at the end of the book of Washington’s tooth problems, is sobering. Poor George.
So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George and David Small won the Caldecott Medal in 2001 for it’s fantastic illustrations. Rather than spending most of it’s time focusing on individual presidents, this book has a lot of interesting information that groups the presidents together as to similarities they’ve shared with one another.
If the Walls Could Talk: Family Life at the White House by Jane O’Connor and Gary Hovland is one of my favorites on this list. This book specifically focuses on the history of the White House, while also giving specifics about individual presidents. It has fun illustrations and I like the way the author and illustrator created multiple ways of learning: on each page there are presidential quotes, dialogue boxes that can quickly be read and that add personality, and if you really want to learn some interesting facts you can read the paragraphs that give a more in-depth look at each president.
What Presidents Are Made Of by Hanock Piven has unbelievably creative illustrations. Piven has taken everyday trinkets and used them to create different president’s faces. There is also text with interesting information about some of the presidents.
Wackiest White House Pets by Gibbs Davis and David A. Johnson. Did you know that Thomas Jefferson often took walks around the White House gardens with a couple of grizzly bear cubs? Calvin Coolidge was sent a raccoon that was intended to become dinner, but Coolidge couldn’t bear it once he saw the raccoon and made it his pet. This book goes through the various animals that have inhabited the White House; some of which are rather surprising.
The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln, illustrated by Michael McCurdy is an illustrated version of the Gettysburg Address. The illustrations are done in black and white and focus primarily on scenes from the battle at Gettysburg as well as when Lincoln was giving his address there. Compelling and interesting, these illustrations are a nice addition to the reading of the Gettysburg address.
Duck for President by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. Now that you’ve had your fill of presidential history, it’s time for some fun with a determined duck who is really just looking for a way to kick his feet up and relax. Duck is done doing chores on the farm. He’s just sure that being in charge means he’ll be able to take it easy. First he has his sights set on Farmer Brown’s job, but it’s not long before he’s ready for bigger and better things. Duck for President is a silly story with fun illustrations that your little ones are sure to like.
Happy reading this President’s Day weekend!