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What Presidents Are Made Of Paperback – January 24, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-6–Beginning with its wordplay title, this book exhibits Piven's flair for creativity and whimsy. Focusing on 17 U.S. presidents, each single- or double-page entry begins with the same phrase ("Presidents are made of…"), includes an interesting anecdote showing the human side of that individual, and presents a collage caricature made of inventive bits of realia that extend the metaphors suggested in the text. For example, George Washington is "…made of good deeds." The narrative recounts how he helped extinguish a neighborhood fire at age 67. His "portrait" has eyes made of small resin-coated American flags that reflect enough light to make them twinkle. Thomas Jefferson is made of "comfortable shoes"; Andrew Jackson, "hot tempers"; Theodore Roosevelt, "endless energy"; and Bill Clinton, "enthusiasm." The last spread has official portraits of all the presidents, their birth and death dates, and their years in office. In the introduction, readers are invited to compare the "object portraits" with the realistic images and to fashion collages of their own. Children will be fascinated by the imaginative, humorous artwork and will appreciate the anecdotes that allow them to see the "stuff" that presidents are made of. This book should be particularly popular at election time, but will be enjoyed any time, singly or in groups.–Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Gr. 2-4. In this picture book for older children, Piven presents the characters and interests of 17 U.S. presidents in text and collage portraits that make use of small toys and objects. Hot-tempered Andrew Jackson has bullets for eyes, a boxing glove nose, and a mouth represented by a miniature rifle; overweight William Howard Taft holds a rubber duck as he sits, clothed, in the White House bathtub; Ronald Regan, pictured with Bonzo, has facial features made from jellybeans. The multimedia illustrations, paint on plaster-covered wood with three-dimensional objects affixed, emphasize humor (Richard Nixon's face is a tape recorder), and brief captions explain details in the art; George W. Bush, for example, is portrayed with a hotdog nose and baseball mouth because he once owned the Texas Rangers. With the exception of the depictions of Grant and Lincoln, the portraits appear in chronological order; an appended time line shows all the presidents, noting life spans and years in office. This is sure to be in demand during the upcoming election season; it will also make a good read-aloud. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.