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Sunday, December 2, 2012

THE PRESIDENT'S STUCK IN THE BATHTUB by Susan Katz

The inauguration is only a little over a month away.  I'm thinking, then, that there will probably be lots of presidential conversations and read alouds happening in classrooms. If that's true, THE PRESIDENT'S STUCK IN THE BATHTUB is a book you will definitely want to own. STUCK IN THE BATHTUB is a collection of 43 poems, one about each president of the United States. The poem doesn't always highlight the most important aspect of the presidency, instead it highlights one interesting fact, e.g. George Washington slept in over 1000 places, but never slept at the White House, Franklin Pierce trimmed the first White House Christmas Tree, and John F. Kennedy was once mistaken for an elevator operator. Each poem is followed by a paragraph further explaining the situation. Here is Andrew Jackson's poem:
Spelling Be 
Andrew Jackson, some people claim,
was barely able to spell his own name
He was never the champ of a spelling bee,
never the one to spell "Miss-iss-ipp-i."
Yet he kept the Congress under his thumb,
He couldn't' spell rite, but he wasn't dum.
Susan Katz 
And then the accompanying information:
Andrew Jackson was one of the strongest presidents, using his forceful personality to expand the powers of the presidency. Though he couldn't master the spelling of even a simple word, this problem didn't disturb him…In fact, he's reported to have claimed that a person who could spell a word only one way lacked imagination."

Susan Katz has used a variety of genre- including list, couplets, and poems for two voices. The end material, "Presidential Notes and Quotes" is lots of fun too- it includes each president's name, dates he served, as well as dates he was born and died, a famous quote, a nickname, and a first. James Madison, for instance, was the first president to wear long trousers instead of knee britches. Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to ride in an automobile and fly in an airplane, and Jimmy Carter was the first president born in a hospital. Illustrations, by Robert Neubecker, best known for his WOW! CITY! series, are colorful and playful, almost cartoon like, perfect for this very fun volume of poetry.

1 comment:

Linda at teacherdance said...

We have this at school-such a funny book, Carol, just right for this fall. Thanks for sharing it.