Because children are so non-judgmental, teaching them about history is fun. All you need to do is to give them the facts. They don't want or need too much information about motives or causes. It's enough to tell them the Civil War was about slavery; they'll learn soon enough about tariffs and cotton and John Brown and Gettysburg.

Kenneth C. Davis has been simplifying subjects for adults for years in his Don't Know Much series. So it's child's play (pardon the pun) for him and illustrator Pedro Martin to bring history to life for children in their new book, Don't Know Much About the Presidents. All 43 chiefs of state, from George W. to George W. Bush are presented in chronological order. Each entry ranges from one to three pages, and each is loaded with interesting facts about the man and his presidency. A handy timeline runs along the bottom of every page to help situate individual presidents within American history.

Kids can see humor in everything, and Don't Know Much is loaded with pertinent and funny illustrations. A picture of William Henry Harrison giving his inaugural address in his undershirt, in the rain adds a humorous counterpoint to the serious fact that he died of pneumonia as a result of the two-hour speech. Young students of history will love this book for its facts and for the laughs it elicits. They'll learn a lot while they're at it, and so will their parents. If your child doesn't know much about the presidents, give them this book then you can both learn more!

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