Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

So You Want to be President? Revised and Updated Edition

So You Want to be President? Revised and Updated Edition

Judith St. George
Illustrator:   David Small 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Penguin, 2000   ISBN: 978-0399243172

One thing to always keep in mind if you want to take on a challenge is to make sure that you know all there is to know on the subject. If you want to become the President it helps to know all about those who were presidents in the past; it pays to learn about the men who shaped the country, and the things that they had to do to become, and to stay, the President.

The former Presidents came in all shapes, all sizes, all temperaments, all kinds of backgrounds, and with all sorts of tastes. Some of them were excellent dancers, while others had two left feet; some love to go hunting and riding, while others were not the physical types at all. In fact there seems to be no fast rule about what you need to be to become the President. They can be just about anybody if they have what it takes to do the job.

There are of course many advantages to being the President which is why so many people want the position. Imagine not having to eat ones vegetables unless one wanted to, and imagine having a movie theatre in ones very own home. A President has these advantages and yet there are certain things that are required of a President in return. Some of the requirements are small. For example the President usually has to wear fancy clothes and he has to give many long speeches. Some requirements are far more important and much harder to fulfill; the President has to "be honest" and he has to serve "the people and the country."

With lively humor and an excellent collection of stories and anecdotes, the author of this book beautifully succeeds in showing her readers that anyone can indeed become the President if he or she has the right inner qualities to see the thing through. We are shown how colorful many of the past Presidents were, and how very human they were as well, each one having his own peculiarities, frailties and strengths.

An annotated list of the Presidents at the back of the book provides an interesting and informative picture of the Presidency.

David Small's glorious double page spreads full of color, expression, and humor are a perfect backdrop for the text.

This book won the Caldecott Medal.