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“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”
Summary: Mrs. Madoff's class is putting on a play and everyone has a part. Our narrator, is George Washington, and some of her classmates are Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. Other students have jobs building and walking on stage with the props the presidents talk about. This picture book identifies presidents and their roles in history as a class project.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 6 to 9
Age of Child: Shared with a 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: "Read it again, Mom." Our daughter surprised us by wanting to read this book several times in a row. The children performing the play are about her age, and she may have connected with them because of it.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a clever way to present information about four of the more well-known presidents kids learn about. The play gives various kids a chance to speak, with historical and personal facts about each individual. The illustrations show a lot of the activity, complementing the text well. The kids themselves are as precious as you'd expect young performers to be.
Pros: Bright illustrations and well-constructed text quickly engage kids in this story that reinforces the history lessons they learn in school.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a fun story and it has great information, but the presentation is meant for a younger audience. As your kids mature, they will want more sophisticated stories.
Educational Themes: In a very concise presentation, kids can glean a lot of information about US history. There are personal facts about Jefferson, Washington, Roosevelt, and Lincoln; statements about their contributions to our country; and information about national monuments and treasures. The storyline itself lets you recreate this book as a play or make up one of your own.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, history, US presidents
Date(s) Reviewed: February 2009
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