So You Want to Be President? (CALDECOTT MEDAL BOOK)

by Judith St. George

Other authorsDavid Small (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2000


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Philomel (2000), 56 pages


Presents an assortment of facts about the qualifications and characteristics of U.S. presidents, from George Washington to Bill Clinton.

User reviews

LibraryThing member rpetty
This book talks about every president we have had in America. It states some facts about all of the presidents and it gives some detail about the White House. It gives a brief history of the presidents and makes it fun for elementary students to learn about them. This is a well-written book and the
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author kept children in mind when he wrote it.

I enjoy history a great deal, so I found this book interesting because it shows just how ordinary most of the presidents are. It also has some humorous short stories about some of the presidents.

This would be a helpful book when it comes time to remember all the presidents of The United States of America. This book would work side by side with others to help the children to identify the presidents by their character. I would also have a work sheet and have the students try to remember something about random presidents.
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LibraryThing member lep119
"So You Want to be President?" is a book that features a comprehensive guide to the Presidents of the United States. The book includes information about the education, family, and prior occupations of Presidents, as well as facts about their Vice Presidents. I enjoyed this book very much! I loved
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how the book is written in a way that children can read and be interested in! Would recommend it!
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LibraryThing member cjfox73
The funny and slightly irreverent tone will capture kids. I like how it reminds kids that presidents are people, too.
LibraryThing member MaowangVater
Presents an assortment of facts about the qualifications and characteristics of U. S. Presidents from George Washington to Bill Clinton
LibraryThing member sharmon05
This book offers the reader a lot of accurate and interesting information about presidents. This makes it so this book is a good example of an informational book. The style in this book is fun and entertaining. There is also a lot of comedy; this makes the information in this book fun and engaging.
LibraryThing member JenniferHauschildt
This book gives a lot of neat trivia about the previous presidents. It mentions pets they had while in office, whether they played an instrument or enjoyed dancing, and occuptions they had before they were president. It tells which presidents were tall or short, which were born in a log cabin, and
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even if they were good looking or not. This book is sending the message that there have been all kinds of presidents, but to be a good president, you should want to serve our country and its people.

Personal Reaction

I thought the book was good. The pictures were humorous sketches of the presidents. I don't think young children would be interested in this book. The topic is a little advanced for the under 5 age group. There was a lot of good trivia in the book.

Classroon Extension Ideas

- A teacher could have an occupation day and introduce different occupations to the children. This book would fit in well.

- If the teacher is doing a unit on presidents or the government, this is a great book to make the subject more kid friendly.
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LibraryThing member beckie05
This was a good informational book with great illustrations. This book was informative as well as humorous. It was explain to children the best way to become president and all the rules behind it.
I honestly did not like this book. There were some jokes that I felt would a child would not
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understand. Also, it was too long for children. If it is going to be read to a class room, it should be an older group of students.
An extension idea can be that each child does a report on a president. Also, we can write the editor because there is a mistake in the book regarding the youngest president.
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LibraryThing member katrinafroelich
Delightful, relateable, and humorous book about our US Presidents. There are facinating facts and comparisons about each of the Presidents -- which intrigue and captivate the interest of the reader. The 2000 edition is a bit out of date, however it was revised in 2004 -- and hopefully it will need
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revision in 2009!
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LibraryThing member ENeal
So You Want To Be President? by Judith St. George and illustrations by David Small is a biography book all about our presidents. It talks about all the previous presidents and what they were famous for. It includes humor.

I thought this book was okay. It was very informational. I thought the
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illustrations were done very well and the use of humor puts it over the top.

Extensions in the classroom could be when studying all the Presidents. This book, is filled with facts so it could be a great tool.
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LibraryThing member mkeenan
Very funny illustrations accompany this book as it looks at all the trials and tribulations of the men who were are first 41 presidents.

This is a great introduction to the history of our nation to young readers. The artwork is first rate and it makes the story come alive.

An extention for this book
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could be to have the students act out some of the things our former presidents did when they were their ages.

Having the children pick a particular episode from the book that closely relates to something in their lives and then writing about it is another extention activity that would increase understanding.
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LibraryThing member AshleyHerrera
So You Want to Be President?, is a funny story about the good and bad qualities that come along with being president.

I loved this book. I thought it was very informative, but at the same time interesting. The humor will definitely keep even the most active child interested. The book also has great
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and detailed illustrations.

After reading the story, students could write a short essay based on what they would do if they were president. I think this would be a fun assignment that everyone could enjoy.
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LibraryThing member emilee
very clever way to get interest in history
LibraryThing member melissafourroux
This book is written in a biographical format with information in relation to all of the presidents. It gives factual information regarding the President ranging from liking vegetables, their personalities, pets they have owned, to their education.

I really enjoyed this book and I was intrigued by
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the information that was presented. There is so much that we don't know about all of our past Presidents and this book gives students an opportunity to become more knowledgeable with some fun facts. The only concern I had was in the section regarding Bill Clinton's impeachment, it did not go on to say that he was acquitted and I would want to make sure that this was clarified to my students.

This book would be a perfect opening to help discuss elections, roles of the President in our government and also researching information about past Presidents. I would like to pair my students up into groups of 2-3 and have them choose a President from the reading and then do further research to find more biographical information to share with the rest of the class. I would also like to have them complete a timeline regarding the times in office of each President that has served up to the present time. I think this activity would encompass a whole unit instead of a single lesson regarding the time constraints.
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LibraryThing member amberntaylor
Do you want to be President? This story tells what it takes to be President. Presidents have come in many different varieties. You can read all about the fun facts of our different Presidents.

It was simply wrote and easy to understand. It had great funny pictures too look at. It didn’t just give
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boring facts, but funny interesting facts that children would be interested in.

I think it would be cool to bring dress up clothes for both boys and girls. Then have them write what they would do or change if they were president. Then they would have to stand up in front of class, dressed up in the clothes I brought, and give their electoral speech that they wrote.
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LibraryThing member artlibby
Potential presidential nominees will enjoy the manner in which the country's presidents are portrayed in this unexpected jaunt into the presidential history of our country. Rather than discuss the landmark events and policy endeavors of the first forty-two presidents, this book focuses on the
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personality quarks and trademarks that made each president unique. For instance, John Quincy Adams was a first-rate swimmer, the Coolidge family had a pet raccoon and William Howard Taft had a cabbage thrown at him! Presidents come in many flavors, and every reader will walk away identifying with one of these men in one way or another. Humorous illustrations accompany the text, intelligently executed by Caldecott winning artist David Small. Adults will have fun trying to identify the presidents depicted. (Don't worry- you will find an answer key in the back of the book!) A list of the presidents accompanied with a brief biography of each man concludes the book, as does a short bibliography. A must for elementary school libraries and aspiring politicians.
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LibraryThing member jrozean0128
So You Want to Be President is a book whose charm is in its illustrations. There is a very humorous caricature of President Nixon bowling in the White House bowling alley. All of the illustrations are caricatures which makes the book intriguing and humorous. Basically it is a collection of
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interesting antidotes about US Presidents up to President Clinton (the edition I read was published in 2000) as well as interesting facts an nuances about the country’s highest office.

I think the attraction to this book is the fact that it is a very common dream for young children to be President of the United States. It is an excellent introduction to US politics and budding political scientists. This book is not a literary breakthrough, but it is a cute interpretation of the Presidential office that I think children will relate to. Again, the beauty of this book is its illustrations.

I think this would be a great book to read to children during election years such as the one we just had. I also think it would be an interesting discussion of how books do become outdated The book has two key facts that have recently been outdated. For one, the book mentions the only women to run for Vice President was Geraldine Ferraro – we now have another, Sarah Palin. And most notably we now have a person of color who is President, which had not happened at the publication date. I think this would be a good illustration to children on where their lives fit into the history of the United States.
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LibraryThing member mlsullivan
This story told of all the characteristics it takes to become president. Each page told historical aspects of each president. The book had a very cartoon like feel to the illustrations. It was like the illustrator made charactertures to each president.
LibraryThing member servantHEART
This book takes you on a journey through presidential facts and trivia. It reminds us of some of the difficult tasks a president faces and shows some of the "up" side to being President of the United States. For example, it makes fun of some presidents' dancing abilities, physical appearance, and
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humble beginnings, while presenting a few of the major policies each was responsible for in history.

I enjoyed the watercolor/penciled illustrations. Each president was captured in a real-life, attitude, demeanor, and presidential spotlight. Though out of date, I liked how the author introduced the fact that no president of color and woman president had been elected. It raises a good point for discussion in the classroom.

In the classroom, I would use this book as part of the social studies/President's Day unit. During an election year I would have the students create their own page of presidential facts if they became president. This project would involve a self-portrait and public speaking presentation in front of their peers.
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LibraryThing member jesseann81
This is a comical book that is also imformative about the past presidents. It talks about the pros and the cons of being the president of the United States. It jokes about being being able to be a good president even if you are not good looking, and vice versa. It informs you of the different
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personalities of different presidents and how different they all are. In the end it is clear that even though each president is obviously different, they all have the best interest of the American people in mind while in office.

I knew that my 3rd grade class would enjoy listening to me read this book because it will teach them a little about the presidents but they will still get a good laugh. They will like to learn and be entertained at the same time.

I plan to read this book to my students on presidents day before beginning our lesson about the presidents. I will have them write about some of the traits and personalities that they remember from the story. Then I will give them a short quiz with different questions about being president.
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LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
This book isn't a book on how to get elected president, it's a book on what presidents have been like. It relates things like most common names, whether they could dance, and whether they were born in a log cabin. Overall it is loaded with random facts about US presidents.
LibraryThing member CrystalReed
So You Want to Be President is a book that talks about the different Presidents. It talks about the many different lifestyles of the men. This book has many interesting facts.

This book was very interesting to me. I learned many things that I didn't know about the Presidents. The pictures in the
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book are really cute drawings. The facts in the book are interesting things to know.

I would like to use this book as part of a history lesson. I would use it to help the kids learn how many Presidents the United States has had. I would let the children take turns acting out each president's life. I would pick certain things about each President and they could pretend to be that President. The other kids could try to guess which President they were being.
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LibraryThing member LDB2009
This book earned a Caldecott Award for the illustrator, David Small, in 2001. The book explains many of the roles a president must be prepared to accept. It also brings up interesting factoids about each president...some making the men sound larger-that-life, some making them seem very ordinary.
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The illustrations portray the presidents in many different lights and they caricature-type drawings range from humorous (William Howard Taft being lowered by crane into the White House bathtub) to very sullen (Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon walking from the Lincoln Memorial with heads lowered in disgrace). It's a great book for helping young students learn more about the role of the president and how an ordinary person can climb to the most important elected position in America.
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LibraryThing member ShaynaRivera1
This book is a quick and quirky look at all the presidents up to George W. Bush. The accomplishments and even mistakes the presidents made. It is funny, while being completely serious, teaching things like honesty and thriftiness.

I enjoyed this book, however it is loaded with many facts and may
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take more than one sitting to soak it up. I learned many interesting facts about our presidents. I think it is a subtle way to say if you want to be president you need a whole lot of things, but don't give up. It offers a great message for kids while being very honest.

Over a period of time I would break down the book and supplement history material with it. Also, I could talk about the president, do they want to be one, and why or why not, and last but not least I would discuss being a "good" citizen. Lastly a project of all the presidents accomplishments, failures, and why they were liked or not could be done to challenge an older class.
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LibraryThing member mixona
So You Want to be a President? tells all about what it takes to be a President. It talks about the pros and cons of being leader of America and it does so, humorously. This book tells readers that President's have been unattractive, they've had movie-star looks, they've been tall, they've been fat,
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and they've been everything in between and more.

This book is illustrated in kind of a cartoon style. The pictures that accompy the information are funny and will sure to cause readers to laugh or at least smile. This is a fun book that teaches historical facts in a fun way.

I would use this book in the classroom to teach about American History. I might have the students write a report about one of the past Presidents. This book would actually be a great book to have in the classroom during an election year. A teacher could also have students pretend to be President and assign a creative writing assignment on how they would lead America.
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LibraryThing member MsTebedoLovesReading
This book describes what it would be like to bethe President. It gives a short description about what some fo our past presidents have looked like. It also gives information on the good and the bad parts of the presidents life once they become president. It also lets the reader know what it takes
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to become president.

I particularly like this book. I like the illustrations because they are comic like. Very good informative book for children that will help them visualize what it would be like to be the president.

In the classroom I could use this book as a kicker for a lesson on the U.S. Presidency. We could talk about that the Presidents job is and what he is responsible for.
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Original language


Original publication date



0399234071 / 9780399234071



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