My kids can remember who was the first president, who ended slavery, and who was president during the Great Depression. But there are so many other great stories and interesting personality quirks about these leaders of our nation; the challenge is how to remember some of them.
I’m delighted to have found a unique picture book about some of our presidents by illustrator Hanoch Piven, whose Faces I Make app is among our favorites. And I think his presidential portraits will be ones your kids will be staring at for a good long time.
What Presidents Are Made Of includes 18 “portraits” of Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Nixon, and Obama, among others. But unlike every other portrait I’ve ever seen, in this book, each president’s face is created of paint with three-dimensional objects affixed to fill in the features in sort of a visual mnemonic about their lives.
Kids will remember not only President Carter’s past as a peanut farmer–his nose is a peanut–but the ladder for his mouth will remind them of his work for Habitat for Humanity. President Nixon’s face is created of tape recorder parts, an obvious nod to the Watergate scandal. And George Washington is shown in a fireman’s suit, racing to put out a fire, something he really did at the age of 67.
With only 18 presidents represented, there are obviously far more that didn’t make the pages of the book. But I think my kids will have fun coming up with some of their own portraits for the others (says the homeschooling mom). And in doing so, they will probably remember a lot more about them than they could just memorizing facts. -Christina