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Don't Know Much About the Presidents    by Kenneth C. Davis & Pedro Martin order for
Don't Know Much About the Presidents
by Kenneth C. Davis
Order:  USA  Can
HarperTrophy, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This new entry in the popular Don't Know Much About ... historical series is an engaging presentation of 'all forty-three of America's commanders in chief and their families', answering questions that range from how hard a president works to whether the president's kids are allowed to mess up the White House (sounds like they are, or at least their pet alligators are). Though the book is aimed at ages 6-9, older siblings and adults can learn a lot from it too.

After the author introduces the president's job and powers, he gives us tidbits on each of the 43 presidents to date (and Pedro Martin's funny illustrations lighten the mood). Sidebars summarize topics like the constitution, and timelines show key events during each presidency. Fun factoids tell us that Washington only had one tooth left by the time he became president, Jefferson kept grizzly bears on White House grounds, Lincoln kept important papers in his stovepipe hat, and President Bush the elder banned broccoli from the White House. Two pages at the back summarize presidents and their vice-presidents, with their dates of office.

I recommend Don't Know Much About the Presidents to kids interested in learning more, in an easily digestible (but no broccoli) format. It's educational and it's great fun too.

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