Smart About the Presidents (Smart About History)
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Gr. 4-7. From the Smart about History series, this book is similar to other recent titles that quickly delineate the presidents with cartoon-style illustrations and a few fast, fun facts. However, this also presents a paragraph or so of solid information along with the fluff. Students will learn, for example, that Jimmy Carter was humble, honest, and down-to-earth--just what the country needed after Watergate. They will also find out about the taking of the hostages in Iran and that Carter negotiated a treaty between the Egyptians and the Israelis. Each president also gets a few lines about his life before the presidency. All in all, there's a surprising amount of information offered in a kid-friendly style. The artwork is better than average, and although it's played for fun, it's not disrespectful. Different fonts and a peppy layout add appeal. A bibliography, a map showing where the presidents were born, and spreads on White House kids, First Ladies, and more are appended. An easy way to interest kids in the presidency. Ilene Cooper
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