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The Buck Stops Here Paperback – December 5, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Provensen was 10 years old in the election year 1928, and in her introduction to this remarkable new work she recalls skating through the streets of Chicago shouting with delight, "Hoobie Heever for President!" and echoing Calvin Coolidge's famous "I do not choose to run!" Now, with The Buck Stops Here , Provensen provides children with 41 delicious slices of history and a jumping-off point for their own political awakenings--and she does it in glorious style. Square, oversized pages feature portraits of each president, rendered in the artist's familiar, folksy paintings. The portraits are surrounded by lively depictions of the issues, achievements (and, in some cases, missteps and misconducts) that marked each chief executive's years in office, stirring bits of presidential speeches, as well as significant nonpolitical events from those years. Rhyming couplets incorporate each name and number with easy-to-remember phrases about each presidency: "Teddy Roosevelt, Twenty-six / Whisper softly, wave big sticks." All of these details manage to convey the larger-than-life qualities that helped carry these men to the White House and, at the same time, remind us that presidents are only human. This shining example of children's nonfiction clearly illustrates why this important category is gaining a foothold in bookstores. Like all the best nonfiction, Provensen's work should tempt readers to further research. Yet the book is also a treasure in itself; no matter how often one mines its informational gems, its riches are not depleted. The Buck Stops Here has all the feel of an immediate classic. All ages. (Sept.).
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–4—Provensen updates her compendium of presidential portraits to include Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Rhyming couplets serve as footers beneath detailed earth-toned watercolor illustrations that fill each page with miniature scenes featuring campaign slogans, historical events with time line dates, and major accomplishments and inopportune failures. Illustrated historical events, some nonpolitical, graciously surround each man's portrait and term in office. Each president's personality is indirectly revealed through facial expressions that disclose personal struggles with some of America's most difficult executive decisions. For example, the couplet "Junior Bush, Forty-three/Plagued by catastrophe" runs along the bottom of George W. Bush's desk while the tragedy of the September 11th terrorist attacks plays out through his large picture window. Barack Obama's vignette reveals some of the world's current concerns, e.g., the war in Afghanistan and struggling economy, while his wife and children plant new seeds in their White House garden as they cultivate "hope in time of war." "Notes About the Presidents," which can come in useful when writing brief reports, are appended. Unfortunately, the "Selected Bibliography" has not been updated, and the most recent title is from 1993. Nonetheless, this is an excellent introduction to America's leaders.—Krista Welz, North Bergen Public Library, NJ
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (December 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0147509467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0147509468
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
While many of the facts are not those that will be required of students, it is enjoyable reading for both parent and child. There are lots of fun tidbits - perfect for the next trivial pursuit game or Jeopardy! challenge. All kidding aside, there is a plethora of interesting facts, and just enough to keep children interested. We highly recommend this book!
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By JM in NY on June 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
The author's of this book shamefully show a political bias in their treatment of Presidents in this book. Flip to the facing pages of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, for instance, and you will find Reagan's page says "Challenger Disaster, savings and loan failures, 500k people protested nuclear arms" etc, etc. Carter, on the other hand, says things like "modest carter, human rights as the key element of foreign policy, restore all that is good and decent and honest and truthful and fair and competent", etc, etc. Amazingly, it even says "Iran returned hostages to the US" under Carter, which actually happened under Reagan! I am always disgusted when authors use a children's book to push their own agenda, and actually inlcuding misinformation is just revolting! Shameful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By steveosan on October 24, 2001
Format: School & Library Binding
My grandmother gave me this book when I was 6 or 7. I can now recite all the presidents in order and it is honestly from associating their names with the pictures and jingles accompanying each executive. It's funny...I actually visualize in my head this book page-by-page when I'm trying to remember. It was one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite, childhood book. If you want your kid to learn the presidents well, buy The Buck Stops Here by Alice Provensen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 8692959603 on April 20, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
This book is a great resource for teaching about the presidents, or for getting an overview of the sequence, order, and accomplishments of our 41 presidents who served in 42 administrations. The drawings are quite creative, with symbolic and labeled parts to indicated achievments and events throughout that president's administrations, and the text is written in poetic style, so it's a great read aloud for early adolescents. We just finished a presidential press conference research project in my class, and this book was passed around as a great tool, I liked it so much for this project, I am hoping to order a 15 more so that 2-3 students can each share a copy. This book is entertaining and informative, and helps anyone learn about our presidential history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I like buck stop here becuse it talks about the presidents.
It is fun and cool.I been loving it since I was 7 years old.
You shoud read it!
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Format: Paperback
I have a first edition copy of this book, and even though I am now WAY out of the targeted age range, I still love it.

Instead of assuming that her (primarily) young readers would not be interested in historical facts, Provensen's excellent lyrics and drawings remind us that the presidents had faced difficult issues during their administrations. How those presidents dealt with them (or not) is what ultimately gives us history.

This updated version includes both a new entry for George H.W. Bush and an all-new entry for the administration of William Jefferson Clinton. I really like the 'Berlin wall graffiti' theme used for Bush's completed term, but was not crazy about the 'quilt' illustration used for Clinton.

The Buck Stops Here is an essential purchase whether you have young children, teach young children, or just want to see another perspective on this country's great history.
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By Lee H. on December 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I had this book growing up, and I adored it. To this day I can still identify presidents by their picture, recite them all in order, and name a few of the major elements of each administration, and it's all because of this book. Although I wasn't averse to reading, putting so much information in such an easily-digestible form (mostly visual, and the short poems) made it infinitely more appealing, and I pored over the pages again and again.

I'm in my upper 20s and don't have children and I'm considering buying the updated version for myself!
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