From School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—One of several titles in Jeopardy! champion Jennings's new series, this book introduces readers to the ever bizarre and entertaining world of U.S. presidents. Jennings clearly knows his subjects well, cramming in fun facts, such as that Calvin Coolidge enjoyed having Vaseline rubbed on his head while eating breakfast in bed or that a young Bill Clinton shook hands with then-President John F. Kennedy at the White House. Serious topics, such as assassinations, are also discussed, but this is overall a light and upbeat read. Readers, particularly reluctant ones, will savor Lowery's doodlelike illustrations and will enjoy reading about the man who never finished high school (Andrew Johnson) and the President who taught himself to practice law (Abraham Lincoln). Fans of Mike Townsend's Where Do Presidents Come From (Dial, 2012) will reach for this one in a heartbeat, but where the draw of Townsend's graphic novel—style title was its illustrations, Jennings's work contains much more text. There are a few points where readers may become overwhelmed by the mid-page captions or graphics, but the writing style is extremely concise. Reader participation is encouraged throughout, as Jennings urges children to look up words and answer quiz questions. Those who are seemingly indifferent to nonfiction will devour this one. Don't expect to see it sit on the shelf for long.—Keith Klang, Port Washington Public Library, NY
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About the Author
Ken Jennings grew up in Seoul, South Korea, where he became a daily devotee of the quiz show Jeopardy!
In 2004, he successfully auditioned for a spot on the show and went on an unprecedented seventy-four game victory streak worth $2.52 million. Jennings’s book Brainiac
, about his Jeopardy!
adventures, was a critically acclaimed New York Times
bestseller, as were his follow-up books Maphead
and Because I Said So!
Jennings lives outside Seattle with his wife, Mindy, his son, Dylan, his daughter, Caitlin, and a small, excitable dog named Chance.
Mike Lowery is an illustrator and fine artist whose work has been seen in galleries and publications internationally. Mike is the illustrator of Moo Hoo
and Ribbit Rabbit
by Candace Ryan; The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School
by Laura Murray; and the Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder novels by Jo Nesbø. Currently he is a professor of illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lives with a lovely German frau, Katrin, and his super genius daughter, Allister. Visit him at MikeLowery.com.