This election cycle has been pretty brutal, leaving a lot of us wondering how to talk to our kids about politics. Well, I just got a copy of Grover Cleveland, Again! by the celebrated documentarian Ken Burns and illustrator Gerald Kelley, and I’m convinced that reading this with my kids is going to help them understand what being presidential is all about.
This big, oversized book fills up my kid’s laps with facts, stories, and illustrations of every president from George Washington to Barack Obama, as well as Grover Cleveland, who you may remember was the only president to have two non-successive terms (thus the title of the book).
This book is very readable, mainly because Burns gets right to the heart of each man’s presidency in his short bios, saving details like birthplaces and important dates for a fact box instead. The storytelling focuses on the most important events or decisions of each presidency, and little banners across the page sprinkle in interesting tidbits — like the fact that Millard Fillmore married his schoolteacher or that photographers rarely took photos of FDR in his wheelchair out of respect for him.
Burns refuses to pick a best — or worst — president, and he manages to find something wholesome to say about everyone. That said, he doesn’t ignore their flaws either, respectfully though, which is something I immensely appreciate in a history book for kids.
You can find Grover Cleveland, Again! at your local bookstore or our affiliate Amazon. It makes for some fascinating, educational summer reading for your kids (and us too).