Cover image for Lives of the presidents : fame, shame, and what the neighbors thought
Lives of the presidents : fame, shame, and what the neighbors thought
Krull, Kathleen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace & Co., [1998]

Physical Description:
96 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Focuses on the lives of presidents as parents, husbands, pet-owners, and neighbors while also including humorous anecdotes about hairstyles, attitudes, diets, fears, and sleep patterns.
Reading Level:
1240 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 8.2 4.0 24989.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.5 6 Quiz: 18645 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library E176.1 .K78 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Central Library E176.1 .K78 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
Clearfield Library E176.1 .K78 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
Crane Branch Library E176.1 .K78 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
East Aurora Library E176.1 .K78 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
Grand Island Library E176.1 .K78 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library E176.1 .K78 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library E176.1 .K78 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

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Every U.S. president is the focus of public scrutiny, but how well do we know these men? What kind of fathers do presidents make? Husbands? Neighbors? Other books focus on the historical achievements of those who have occupied our country's highest office; Lives of the Presidents looks instead at their bad habits, silly nicknames, and strange pets. Every president--from George Washington to Bill Clinton--is included, with an emphasis on those who have had the greatest impact on history. Discover their high points, low points, and the times in between. In this stunning addition to their acclaimed series, Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt take us beyond politics and photo opportunities, revealing the entertaining, complex, and very real lives of the presidents.

Author Notes

Kathleen Krull has written much innovative nonfiction for young people, including all of the books in the Lives of . . . series, and has made a chatty, accessible approach to biography her hallmark. She lives in San Diego, California. Visit her website at .   Kathryn Hewitt's caricatures of famous figures led kids to dub the Lives of . . . series the "Big Head" books. She has illustrated many books for young readers, some of which she also wrote. She lives in Santa Monica, California. Visit her website at .

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-7. Krull and Hewitt, using the successful format that began with Lives of the Musicians (1993), now turn their attention to the U.S. presidents. As in the previous books, and as the subtitle indicates, the book deals with the minutiae of the subjects' lives, with only an occasional nod toward their accomplishments. Important presidents--such as Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, and all the post^-World War II crowd--get a full-page illustration (wives are featured in cameos) and several pages of text. Others, like Rutherford Hayes ("With whiskers so long they dipped into his soup") and Benjamin Harrison ("the Human Iceberg") get a short paragraph. Much of the fun of these books is Hewitt's stylish pictures that use elements of caricature and sly bits of details. For instance, the portrait of President Kennedy features a Frank Sinatra album next to the record player; Checkers' leash is wrapped around Richard Nixon's legs, and Nixon holds a reel of tape in his hand. Other facts? The sleeping arrangements of some of the presidential couples: Woodrow Wilson and his first wife slept in separate bedrooms, but he and his second wife, Edith, moved Lincoln's bed into their room. Bibliography. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

Krull (Lives of the Writers; Lives of the Athletes) has a proven knack for delivering generous dollops of covert asides along with fun facts and pertinent information when it comes to profiling famous figures. This latest effort does not disappoint. Beginning with her debunking of the myth that George Washington had wooden teeth, Krull briskly moves through the list of White House inhabitants, discussing their personality quirks and qualifications for elected office (or seeming lack thereof) as well as offering tidbits about their marriages and love lives, favorite foods and pastimes, family pets and, of particular import these days, scandals. She goes so far as to mention that President Clinton has "admitted privately that he has had affairs," and hints at his reputation as a womanizer. Presidents whose terms had major historical significance and more recent chiefs of state are given longer entries (two to three pages) while the others receive paragraphs. All, however, are written up in the same chatty and intriguing tone. In watercolor-and-colored-pencil paintings, Hewitt, in her signature style, depicts each president with a very large head and smaller body. Background scenery and dress suggest the historical era and significant details about the man; those presidents with a full-page portrait include an inset, smaller portrait of the First Lady in the top left corner of the painting. Young readers will find many of the school-report essentials here‘birthplaces and dates, number of terms in office‘and plenty of items that will surely entertain as well as educate. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up- "Curiouser and curiouser" best describes this potpourri of personal trivia about the men who have served as our nation's presidents. From George Washington (whose ill-fitting false teeth made it uncomfortable for him to smile) to Bill Clinton, Kathleen Krull details the foibles and eccentricities of men whose decisions have influenced the course of history. Successfully walking a fine line between maintaining respect for the office as well as her subjects while at the same time serving up some delicious inside gossip, Krull provides fascinating observations about how these famous (and infamous) men were perceived by friends, family, and colleagues. Interspersed with this material is a brief overview of each man's life and major accomplishments. Students who claim that history is boring may change their minds after listening to this recording.-Cindy Lombardo, Orrville Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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