Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The New Big Book of U.S. Presidents

The New Big Book of U.S. Presidents

Todd Davis, Marc Frey
For ages 9 to 12
Running Press Kids, 2009   ISBN: 978-0762433377

This excellent history of the American presidency begins with a description of how the American system of government, a unique one in the world, works. The description includes a brief but interesting discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of the system and how, at times, the system runs into trouble. We see more of this as we read on into the main section of the book which describes the life and work of every American president from the very first, George Washington, to the current president, Barak Obama.

Each biography not only includes an excellent description of the life of one of America’s presidents, but it also offers some background information about the time in which the president lived. For example, on the page about Andrew Jackson we also learn about Davy Crocket, an important American figure at that time in American history. In addition we can read about the Whig party, which was very strong during the years when Jackson was president.

Each biography also includes side bars that are filled with pertinent information about people, social conditions, the arts, lifestyles, and more. At the bottom of every page there is a timeline, which shows many of the landmark events that took place in America. This helps the reader see the presidencies in relation to the overall picture of American history.