Wednesday, February 12, 2014

President's Day Picture Books for Kids

With President's Day right around the corner it is time to bring out books about Presidents #3 and #16.  Ok, don't look down ... can you tell me which they were?  If you guessed Adams and Jackson you are soooo wrong, try again.  Yes, of course, it was Jefferson and Lincoln.

Now why have I picked these two out of the forty four possible candidates?  Well the extraordinarily talented Maira Kalman has chosen to write children's books about these two and where Kalman goes, I too shall follow.  What can I say?  I like talent.

Don't forget to Like One Great Book on Facebook and Twitter for anything written by Maira Kalman.  That's it, if you have read her books I shouldn't have to explain.

Title:       Thomas Jefferson:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything

Author:   Maira Kalman

Target:    Grades 1-4

What this book is about: 
This book is filled with tidbits and big bits about the man who was our third president.  Kalman shares with us his interest in everything, his writings (yes there is that big one,) accomplishments as President, and his estate, Monticello.  She does not shy away from his use of slaves or his relationship with Sally Hemings, but they are all deftly handled as part of the whole man - “Optimistic and complex and tragic and wrong and courageous.”

Why I love this book: 
Well I have to come clean.  I am a devotee of Kalman, I think her artwork is brilliant.  I am also an alumni of the University of Virginia, founded by none other than Thomas Jefferson, so this book was going to interest me no matter what.

Kalman writes her children’s books much like her adult fare.  It is simple and straightforward with a liberal use of commentary that shows her sense of humor.  She is also careful in her word choices as she challenges kids and adults to understand the importance of certain words to her understanding of the subject matter.

Who this book is for:
This book is a little much for the youngest of kids.  There is just too much content here to keep their attention.  Older children will be able to keep up with the story and have a better understanding of the man.

Final thoughts: 
I do wonder why Jefferson never included President as part of his epitaph.  Could it be that he considered so many other things as more important accomplishments?

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Title:         Looking at Lincoln
Author:     Maira Kalman
Target:      Kindergarten and up
What this book is about:
A young girl goes on a journey to find out more about Abraham Lincoln.  Along the way she discovers he likes vanilla cake and tall hats where he can put his notes.  She also learns about his beliefs in freedom, his encounters with Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglas, and the terrible cost of war.  Finally she learns that “a great man is never really gone.”
Why I love it:
Ok, the end of this picture book made me cry, but in a wonderful way, and if you have ever been to the Lincoln Memorial and been awed by that statue, yo
u too will tear up  I am afraid.  If you have ever read my blog you will know that I am a devotee of Maira Kalman and this book is another beautiful work by her.  It interweaves whimsy with history and poignancy in a way that no other book on the subject has done.
Who this book is for:
All children will find something to like in this book, and it doesn’t feel like a history lesson, although it is.
Final thoughts:
There is a reason that there are 16,000 books written about Lincoln.  He is a man worth knowing about.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Looking at LincolnA portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment