Presidents are very much on everyone's mind during this election year. But do you really know what presidents are made of? Spanish author and illustrator Hanoch Piven certainly has some ideas in his humorous, creative new picture book, What Presidents are Made Of.
Piven uses paint and glued-on objects to create unique and memorable portraits of U.S. presidents. For instance, there's William Howard Taft, our heaviest president, who weighed more than 300 pounds. Taft, who once got stuck in the White House bathtub, is depicted holding a rubber ducky with two white feathers as a moustache. Young readers who have just been introduced to the late President Ronald Reagan will learn that this leader was made of "sweet stuff." According to Piven, "Ronald Reagan loved jellybeans and kept a jar on his desk to share (but he tried to keep his favorites, the coconut ones, for himself)." Naturally, his portrait includes jellybeans.
Other presidents included in the book are likewise depicted in warm, clever portraits. Readers will find presidents made of Life Savers (John F. Kennedy), Endless Energy (Theodore Roosevelt), Hot Tempers (Andrew Jackson) and Comfortable Shoes (Thomas Jefferson).
The book includes an introductory note from the author, which explains how he uses objects as building blocks for portraits, making this book perfect for use on a rainy day at home or in the classroom.