Cover image for So you want to be president?
Title:
So you want to be president?
Author:
St. George, Judith, 1931-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Philomel Books, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
52 pages, 1 unnumbered page : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Summary:
Presents an assortment of facts about the qualifications and characteristics of U.S. presidents, from George Washington to Bill Clinton.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
730 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.8 0.5 39885.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.2 3 Quiz: 23560 Guided reading level: S.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780399234071
Format :
Book

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E176.1 .S699 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Award Winners
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Summary

Summary

Winner of the 2001 Randolph Caldecott Award!So you want to be President! Why not? Presidents have come in every variety. They've been generals like George Washington and actors like Ronald Reagan, big like William Howard Taft and small like James Madison, handsome like Franklin Pierce and homely like Abraham Lincoln.From the embarrassment of skinny-dipping John Quincy Adams to the mischievous adventure of Theodore Roosevelt's pony, Judith St. George shares the backroom facts, the spitfire comments, and the comical anecdotes that have been part and parcel of America's White House.Hilariously illustrated by Caldecott honor-winning artist David Small, this celebration shows us the foibles, quirks, and the humanity of forty-one men who have risen to one of the most powerful positions in the world.


Author Notes

Judith St. George (born 1931) was an American author, most famous for writing So You Want to Be President? Author and illustrator David Small was awarded the 2001 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in the book. St. George wrote more than 40 books, most were historical fiction. She was born in Westfield, NJ and graduated from Smith College.

Saint George died on June 10, 2015; she was 84.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5, younger for reading aloud. Portraits of the presidents can be generally described as staid, stodgy, and dull. Throw these adjectives out the window when describing this book's group portrayal of American presidents. St. George leads her audience, ostensibly young presidential hopefuls, through the good points of the presidency (big house with its own bowling alley and movie theater) and bad points (lots of homework). Then she offers a spiffy presidential history with comparisions and contrasts: most popular names, log cabin origins, ages, looks, backgrounds, pets, musical abilities, favorite sports, and personalities ("William McKinley was so nice that he tried to stop a mob from attacking the man who had just shot him"). The book holds out the possibility that someday a woman, a person of color, or a person who is neither Protestant nor Roman Catholic might be elected president. The discussion ends with the oath of office and the thought that most presidents have tried to do their best to fulfill it. David Small's delightful illustrations, usually droll and sometimes hilarious, will draw children to the book and entertain them from page to page. Memorable images include the comical sight of the obese President Taft being lowered into a bathtub by a crane and a powerful scene showing two figures, Nixon (looking disgruntled) and Clinton (looking dejected), descending the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, under the shadow of impeachment. Thoughtful composition and layout both contribute to the lively visual presentation of this most original look at the presidency. The light tone of the book makes it possible for readers to absorb a great deal of information, some of it silly, but underlying the treatment is a sense of the significance and dignity of the office and the faith that children still aspire to be president. --Carolyn Phelan


Publisher's Weekly Review

HThis lighthearted, often humorous roundup of anecdotes and trivia is cast as a handbook of helpful hints to aspiring presidential candidates. St. George (Sacagawea; Crazy Horse) points out that it might boost your odds of being elected if your name is James (the moniker of six former presidents) or if your place of birth was a humble dwelling ("You probably weren't born in a log cabin. That's too bad. People are crazy about log-cabin Presidents. They elected eight"). She serves up diverse, occasionally tongue-in-cheek tidbits and spices the narrative with colorful quotes from her subjects. For instance, she notes that "Warren Harding was a handsome man, but he was one of our worst Presidents" due to his corrupt administration, and backs it up with one of his own quotes, "I am not fit for this office and never should have been here." Meanwhile, Small (The Gardener) shows Harding crowned king of a "Presidential Beauty Contest"; all the other presidents applaud him (except for a grimacing Nixon). The comical, caricatured artwork emphasizes some of the presidents' best known qualities and amplifies the playful tone of the text. For an illustration of family histories, Small depicts eight diminutive siblings crawling over a patient young George Washington; for another featuring pre-presidential occupations, Harry Truman stands at the cash register of his men's shop while Andrew Johnson (a former tailor) makes alterations on movie star Ronald Reagan's suit. The many clever, quirky asides may well send readers off on a presidential fact-finding missionDand spark many a discussion of additional anecdotes. A clever and engrossing approach to the men who have led America. Ages 7-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

This Caldecott Medal winner features humorous facts about U.S. presidents with a viewpoint especially interesting to children. Droll, cartoon-style illustrations extend the text and provide intriguing presidential caricatures. Difficult issues are presented in age-appropriate fashion. Channing's reading enhances the humor and the background music includes variations of "Hail to the Chief" and other patriotic songs that lend an energetic air to the narration. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.