Tuesday, October 20, 2009

President Obama: A Day in the Life of America’s Leader

I very nearly went into politics.
The art of who gets what and how they get it excites me.
This is an excitement I endeavor to instill in my children.
Whether it's dragging poor Mongoosine into the voting booth with me and explaining each step of the process to her very quietly as I select my favorite candidate for each of the positions.
I encourage her to think critically about things like why it's important to understand how your government works, and why it's crucial to participate.
Consequently, when I found out about TIME for Kids' President Obama: A Day in the Life of America’s Leader, I was more than a little excited to review it, because I wanted to share this book with my daughter, in the hopes that it will help her take one of the first steps to involvement- education.
This is not to say that Mongoosine is into politics.
Getting her to read President Obama: A Day in the Life of America’s Leader has been somewhat similar to pulling teeth.
Did I mention she's a tween? Well, our President isn't a vampire, so I had to trick her into reading it by reading it myself then saying "hey, come look at this" and letting her be engrossed some 3 minutes at a time. She'll tell you it wasn't interesting, but then she'll tell you about President Harrison's grandchildren being pulled off in a cart by Whiskers the goat.

Because my degree is in History, and my emphasis was the use of pop culture media for propaganda, I have to say, the book is well put together. The images are vibrant and engaging, the personal details are memorable, and the information is accessible enough to be meaningful to the intended audience. President Obama: A Day in the Life of America’s Leader was written for 9-12 year olds, though I can think of a certain 7 year old who will just love it.

President Obama: A Day in the Life of America’s Leader does a marvelous job of breaking down the basic structure of government and the interaction of the various branches, and divisions within the branches of government. It also tricks the reader into learning the various governmental functions and terms by interspersing them with attention grabbing details and easily understandable charts.

If you are considering this book, this is what I feel you should know.
It does a superb job of simplifying what goes on in Washington so that it is accessible and interesting for a child who shows some political interest. President Obama: A Day in the Life of America’s Leader even has something to offer the older reader. Wouldn't you love to have a handy dandy breakdown of the line of succession, from the Vice President all the way through the next seventeen rungs in the ladder, down to the Secretary of Homeland Security? Of course you would.

Overall, I like this book. I love that it gives children an opportunity to see what the President's day is like, how enormously busy he is, the types of responsibilities he has, and just how things really get accomplished. I particularly like that although President Obama is a democratic president, the book is remarkably centrist. President Obama: A Day in the Life of America’s Leader is not going to turn your children into liberals, but it will help you to educate them, and that, is fantastic. Would I buy it had I not been sent a copy to review?*
Honestly, I might have. Because I have a niece who is very interested in government, so much so she memorized all the presidents in order at the age of six, I very well might have thought that this might be the perfect gift for her.

So if you've got a budding politician or leader- this is a wonderful book for her.

Want it?
President Obama: A Day in the Life of America’s Leader can be purchased from Amazon.com for under $10.

*Disclosure- I was sent a free copy of this book to review.

2 reflections:

Jess said...

Awesome post! I need to have my sister read this since she has older kids! Thanks for the review

Slee said...

Thank *you* dear. I thought about critiquing it very deeply from the stance of a woman who taught HS Government in long forgotten years, but i figured that I didn't want that ethos statement to cloud people's opinion of things, lol.