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Are you ready to cast your vote on November 2nd?  Perhaps you need a book to
help you decide what truly makes a president. :What Presidents Are Made Of,"
by Hanoch Piven, should be just the ticket you've been waiting for.
Mr. Piven has discussed some of the most interesting presidents in his
ingenious picture book. He has created easily recognizable presidential
faces by placing extraordinary items in place of real features. Some of the
items depict what the president is known for, some of the items help the
president look like himself and some have examples of his life's interests.
For instance, Andrew Jackson fought in several duels while serving as
president. Hanoch has placed on the face of Jackson: a rifle for his mouth,
a boxing glove for his nose and bullets for his eyes. Hanoch cleverly
informs the reader with a little interesting insight about the president
along with a 2 word headline that simply states his character. In this
instance, above Jackson's name, it reads: "Hot Tempers".
Hanoch skillfully depicts Richard Nixon's face with a tape recorder lying
upside down. The handle is his mouth, a telephone cord is his hair and
eyebrows, and an oversized plastic ear for his nose. The two word summary
reads: "All Thumbs". The brief information tells us that he had a tape
recorder hidden in his office. However, he wasn't good with machines, so he
had the recorder automatically set to record as soon as someone began
talking. The tape recorder ultimately caught Nixon lying and thereby making
him resign the presidency.
There are pictures and dates of all of the presidents in the back of the
book. The witty materials used to form the expressions of the 16 presidents
illustrated are all diverse and ingenious like the jelly bean smile of
Ronald Reagan, the gavel in place of Lincoln's mouth and an ax for
Washington's toothless grin. This book will surely bring a smile to your
face.

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Have you ever wondered what kinds of pets lived at the White House? Just
about every U.S. President has owned at least one pet while in office. In
fact, most presidents had many animals. To find out about some of the
craziest animals that have lived in that noble house, Wackiest White House
Pets, by Gibbs Davis, will surprise and amaze you.
There's the wide assortment of animals that lived in the White House while
Theodore Roosevelt was in office. It seemed that the more children that
lived in this home away from home, the more pets there were. Roosevelt's six
children loved having many extraordinary animals present. Some of these
included a lion, wildcat, coyote and numerous snakes. One of his daughters
enjoyed releasing her green garter snake during some of her mother's elegant
parties. She liked the reactions of the ladies that were visiting even more!
How about the little white dog President Kennedy received from what was then
our greatest enemy, The Soviet Union?  When Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave
Kennedy's little daughter, Caroline, a little fluffy pooch, the Secret
Service worried that the dog was "bugged". But alas, no bugs were found and
the dog "fell" for the Kennedy's dog and soon there were little pups from
the union.
The picture book displays fifteen presidents and the varied pets that lived
with them during their presidency. Each story has wonderful illustrations,
by David A. Johnson, depicting some of these unusual critters with their
owners. The best part of this book is the way the author has tied a piece of
history to each president as you read about their pets.  For instance, you
learn much from the short paragraph describing the gift to Kennedy.. It was
obviously a time of distrust and suspicion for our country.
There are more interesting facts at the back of the book about each
president and the crazy pets they owned, as well as the president's
nicknames, the years they served, and a brief summary about what the country
was experiencing during the time of his term in office. There's even
comparisons of some of the pets with their owners. For instance, the largest
pet, a cow, had a devoted and largest president: Taft. The smallest pets,
silkworms, resided in the house of the shortest president: John Quincy
Adams. Teddy Roosevelt had a houseful of energy and children. He also had
more wild life in the White House than any other president before or after
him: over 40 pets!
So, get ready to vote, but first check out what kinds of pets both
candidates own. It could tell you a lot about them! Both books would be a
tremendous enlightenment about our past presidents and the condition of the
country during various times. This book is great for all ages.