Book Lists Non-fiction Picture Books

Books for President’s Day

February 16, 2012

What librarian doesn’t like a holiday (especially because if you work in a public library or school, you pretty much always get the day off)? In addition to a chance to sleep in, it’s also a great excuse to put together a little list of books you love. Hurrah for President’s Day.

So You Want to Be President – This is probably my favorite book about the US presidents of all time.  It’s funny and clever and one of the only books that takes around 20 minutes to read aloud that would hold the interest of even 2nd graders. It talks about things that presidents have in common (for instance, it helps to be born in certain states or a log cabin. Having siblings helps and being male REALLY helps) and things that sets certain presidents apart. If you’re only picking one book up for President’s Day, it should be this one.

The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub – this book of poems has one entry for each president, about something unusual, funny or interesting about them. Each poem is fairly short and most of them were about things I didn’t know.

Those Rebels, John and Tom – I love this duo’s work; everything they do is fun, interesting, and clever. This one about the rocky friendship and extreme differences of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson is a complete winner.

Abe’s Honest Words – This book is a lovely overview of Lincoln’s life with his own words from various letters, speeches, etc sprinkled in (some you’ll know, others you might not). The illustrations, of course, are breathtaking because it’s Kadir Nelson.

John, Paul, George and Ben – If you’ve been paying close attention, you may have noticed that I love Lane Smith. I find his wacky sense of humor and slightly off-beat drawings so fun. And this is probably my favorite of his books. Bart and I discovered this when we were in NYC a couple of years ago and visited Books of Wonder. We laughed so hard we cried. It takes things about these famous presidents (and Sons of Liberty) and makes these hilarious little spoofs on them (with a nice section at the back to set the record right). I dare you to read this one with a straight face.

George Washington’s Birthday – This amusing little book is set on George Washington’s seventh birthday and presents many of the myths about him (the wig, the cherry tree, etc) with little fact boxes that tell the real story in the corners. The day ends with a surprise dinner for George, thrown by his family, and then the book concludes with an afterword told from George’s point of view explaining more about some of the myths that surround him. A cute, fun story. I love the winter-y looking illustrations.

Any other books about the presidents that you love?

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  • Reply Ralphie February 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Bookflix has a great video of So You Want to Be President. One of the few cases where the movie just might be better than the book. So funny and so much applicable info. If you want to watch it I can give you a passcode!

  • Reply heather February 17, 2012 at 12:14 am

    We got John, Paul, George, and Ben about a year ago and fell in love with it.

    And though it's not ABOUT presidents, I like Obama's book, "Of Thee I Sing." My daughter (age 3) asked lots of questions which is often the sign of a good book for us.

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