Happy Presidents’ Day!

Good afternoon Picture Book fans!

Today is an official holiday… Presidents’ Day!  What better way to learn about our country and history than through picture books?  Here is a new book that caught my eye… I really like it!  Also I posted a few more that may just make learning more exciting!  As a visual learner, I know that picture books were (and still are… ex. “visual” computer guides!) the best way for many to retain information.  

Also, we are back from Florida now… our stay was cut a few weeks short, as my dear mother-in-law passed away.  The funeral service is this weekend, so we are still in the midst of tasks and details.  I know this post is short… sorry… I have a list already started of the picture books I want to feature in March!  I am also working on my page to make it more user friendly and be able to get it directly to your email in box.  Any suggestions or how to improve my blog are truly welcome!  Until then, happy reading!



ImageBOOK 1:

America The Beautiful:  Together We Stand

Written by Katharine Lee Bates;  Illustrated by Bryan Collier, Jon J Muth, Diane Goode, Mary GrandPre, Raul Colon, Sonia Lynn Sadler, Yuyi Morales, John Hendrix, LeUyen Pham, and Chris Soentpiet (2013)

Available in Hardcover

This cover grabbed me right off the display!  The illustrations are from 10 different artists, putting the patriotic song into their pictures.  I love it!

Kirkus Reviews:

What better way to make this patriotic song meaningful to kids than with these lively illustrations by 10 different illustrators? Each spread portrays a line or phrase from the song with a sidebar quote from a president (cherry-picking from Washington to Obama). For “For amber waves of grain,” Mary GrandPré depicts three kids and a dog pretending to be sailing on a boat that’s a dead tree amid a field of wheat; this is paired with a quote from Thomas Jefferson: “I believe…that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.” An interior spread (“with brotherhood”) by LeUyen Pham repeats the cover, picturing kids wearing red-and-white striped outfits representing the flag’s stripes and kids in blue sweaters with stars completing the flag. The quote is from Theodore Roosevelt: “Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.” The other illustrators are Diane Goode, Jon J Muth, Yuyi Morales, John Hendrix, Bryan Collier, Chris Soentpiet, Raúl Colon and Sonia Lynn Sadler. Handsomely designed, this is a beautiful tribute to America and Americana. (selected national landmarks and symbols, biographical note, song lyrics, definition of democracy) (Picture book. 5-9)


ImageBOOK 2:

When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots

Written by Lynne Cheney; Illustrated by Brian Fiore (2004) 

Available in Hardcover and e-Reader editions

I wish that Lynne Cheney’s books had been around when my own children were school-aged.  I love her writing and how it speaks to children in a mature manner.  I love every single one of the five picture books that she has written, so please check them out if you haven’t already!

Publishers Weekly:

Cheney (A Is for Abigail) serves up an inspiring slice of U.S. history in this account of a pivotal event in the American Revolution. With a generous smattering of quotes from primary sources, the author describes Washington’s crossing of the ice-encrusted Delaware River on Christmas night, 1776, as he led 2,400 men from Pennsylvania into New Jersey and defeated British-hired Hessian soldiers at the Battle of Trenton. At times, the narrative awkwardly jumps ahead (in the midst of the surprise attack on Trenton, the author intersperses biographies of 19-year-old Capt. Hamilton and then 18-year-old Lieut. James Monroe). But if the leaps slow the momentum somewhat, these facts will nonetheless fascinate readers, as will some of the more familiar-undeniably powerful-details (e.g., many of the American troops taking their prisoners back over the river to Pennsylvania “marched without shoes and left bloody footprints in the snow”). The author underscores Washington’s charisma, bravery and brilliance as a military tactician with examples of how he rallied his exhausted troops for a subsequent, successful surprise attack on British General Cornwallis’s army in Princeton on January 3. Fiore’s (Touching the Sky) midnight landscape of the lone British soldier keeping watch on the fires of the surreptitiously vacated American campground underscores the dramatic strategy. The multi-textured, effectively shadowed oil paintings simultaneously capture both the dire circumstances and elegance of the soldiers, and deftly do justice to this history-altering event. A source note cites the references to the elucidating quotes from Washington and others. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.


ImageBOOK 3:

So You Want to be President?

Written by Judith St. George; Illustrated by Brian Small (originally published in 2000;     revised and updated edition 2004)

Winner of the 2001 Caldecott Medal for picture books, this informative, humorous read will appeal to kids and adults alike!

School LIbrary Journal:

Gr 4-8-Curious tidbits of personal information and national history combine with humorously drawn caricatures to give this tongue-in-cheek picture book a quirky appeal. “There are good things about being President and there are bad things about being President.” So begins a walk through a brief history of facts, successes, oddities, and mishaps. For example, most readers won’t know that William Howard Taft weighed over 300 pounds and ordered a specially made bathtub. Small’s drawing of a naked Taft being lowered into a water-filled tub by means of a crane should help them remember. Another spread depicts a men’s shop where Andrew Johnson (a tailor) fits Ronald Reagan (an actor) for a suit while Harry Truman (a haberdasher) stands behind the counter. While the text exposes the human side of the individuals, the office of the presidency is ultimately treated with respect and dignity. A list of presidents with terms of office, birthplace, date of birth and death, and a one-sentence summary of their accomplishments is provided. This title will add spark to any study of this popular subject.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.


About picturebooklook

Hello picture book enthusiasts! I am the mother of 3 twenty-something children and became a grandmother for the first time in early 2012. I have had an affection for picture books for almost as long as I can remember. I have acquired a treasured collection from when my children were young. I have never lost my fondness for them! I have worked in the Children's department of my local Barnes & Noble for the last 10 years. Each month I hope to feature a new picture book review, along with a classic picture book. The fact is, these books are true works of art! The stories are simple, sweet lines, that often stay with us into our adult lives. This blog is dedicated to Danielle Catherine and all of my future grandchildren, and also to all of you who love the beauty of picture books as much as I do!
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