|Rutherford B., who was he? : poems about our presidents|
Author: Singer, Marilyn
Rhythm and innovative rhyme brings the presidents of the United States to life and contextualizes them in their time.
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 65172
Common Core Standards
Grade 2 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 2.RI Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 2.RI Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 2 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 3 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 3.RI Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 3.RI Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 3 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (10/01/13)
School Library Journal (+) (01/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (12/13)
The Hornbook (00/01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2013 Veteran author and poet Singer turns here to the forty-three men who have held the office of POTUS, giving each a swift, often irreverent poetic treatment. Like presidents, the verses are a varied lot: John Quincy Adams has a rollicking limerick-esque entry that notes “Folks found him a bother/ (as they did his father)”; Lincoln’s sparer stanza addresses his fame (“By stovepipe hat, beard, large size,/ he’s the one we recognize”); Nixon’s entry is one of Singer’s self-designed “reverso” poems, appropriate for setting his achievements against his ignominy. The poems often have the compactness of epitaphs but a more interesting complexity of meter and wordplay that makes them sophisticated choices for recitation or reading aloud; the literary portraits occasionally skip some key things (McKinley’s, for instance, doesn’t mention his assassination) but are more often surprisingly thorough in a few short lines. Hendrix’s visuals bring it all to life, with full-bleed mixed-media illustrations that combine the caricatured yet careful linework of political cartooning with crisply layered collagework. Quotes from the presidents become three-dimensional and intertwine with their scenes, while well-chosen details and clever approaches (Harrison and Cleveland play musical chairs, McKinley crouches in the shadow of Teddy Roosevelt) add perspective as well as amusement. This could be a springboard for performance, a way to spice up American History, or a Common Core-friendly entrée into discussion about the merits of unorthodox presentation of fact. End matter includes a longer description of the office, a collection of presidential biographies, and a list of relevant books and websites. DS - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 12/01/2013 This attractive collection of pithy, illustrated verse takes a new look at the 43 American presidents. Each man is represented in a poem, but some share the spotlight with others. Speech balloons from the mouths of Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan are spaced on the page to create one poem, while a more typical entry profiles one president per page, and Washington garners a double-page spread of his own. The appended historical notes represent each president with a tiny portrait, a quote, and an information-packed paragraph commenting on the man and his term in office. Sometimes combining drawn and painted elements with quotes, the artwork is eclectic and expressive. Packed with facts and historical references as well as human interest elements, the rhythmic, rhyming verse may sometimes baffle elementary-school children and even older students without a solid grounding in history and politics. Creative teachers could find ways to use some selections in their classrooms. In fact, almost anyone reading the book will learn something new and find some amusement along the way. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2014 Gr 4 Up—In this impressive collection of poems and matching illustrations, Singer and Hendrix introduce readers to the chronological roster of U.S. presidents, from Washington through Obama. With just a few well-chosen lines, Singer limns the character and/or significance of each man, highlighting Washington's honesty; peace-loving Woodrow Wilson, and feisty Truman: "No one was brasher/than that former haberdasher." In her inimitable verse, she brilliantly captures Nixon's flawed legacy: "Would people remember Watergate, nothing but Watergate?" Some presidents are treated singly; others are grouped together, such as former friends and political adversaries John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Hendrix's pen-and-ink illustrations match Singer's nuanced text: undersized James Madison faces down British ships standing on a soapbox, and an oversize William Howard Taft holds a rubber ducky in his custom-made bathtub. In the exaggerated style of political cartoons, they add wit and insightful detail. End materials offer more factual information including a paragraph on each president. There are many great books about U.S. presidents, and this one follows in the footsteps of Alice Provensen's classic The Buck Stops Here (HarperCollins, 1992) and Judith St. George's So You Want to Be President (Philomel, 2000). Most libraries will want to make room for this one; it's a wonderful teaching tool for U.S. history and a delightful, readable book for a wide audience of browsers.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.