Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the United States of America Review

How to Draw the Life and Times of Benjamin Harrison by Melody S. Mis. is a book filled not only with facts about President Benjamin Harrison, but also step-by-step instructions on drawing the iconic images of his time.

This hardcover 32 page book begins with brief overview of Benjamin Harrison's life and includes fun facts such as Benjamin Harrison's great-grandfather signed the Declaration of Independence and his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, also served as President of the United States.   Included with this overview are the shapes and drawing terms which will be needed to understand  the drawing directions found later in the book. 

After the introductory section, the book has sections covering one part of Benjamin Harrison's life with step by step instructions on how to draw a representation from that part of his life.  The section, The Benjamin Harrison Home, discusses the different homes he lived in, what has happened to some of those homes, and finally the home he lived in and conducted his front porch campaign from that is now a museum.   Then a step-by-step guide is provided to draw the front porch of the house which is now a museum.

Included at the end of the book are a timeline, glossary, index, and link to further websites about Benjamin Harrison.   

This book provides a very basic overview of our nation's twenty-third president suitable for elementary aged students.   I was a bit disappointed with how some of the history of the time was dealt with.  In the section dealing with the Samoan Islands, the dispute about who would control the Samoan Islands between Germany, Great Britain, and the United States is explained.  It further explains that these countries signed the Berlin Treaty which gave the Samoan Islands the right to self government.   Then ends with the sentence, "Later that year Harrison annexed Eastern Samoa for the United States."    What?  Huh?    I think even in an elementary text that action deserves a bit of explanation.

The drawing instruction in this book is superb.   Even a child without much drawing experience will most likely be able to follow the steps provided to complete a drawing they would be happy with.   My kids were able to follow the instructions on their own and complete these fabulous drawings! 

Benjamin Harrison's civil war uniform jacket

  Miami University's seal.  Benjamin Harrison was an alumni of Miami University.


Benjamin Harrison opened Oklahoma territory to settlers on April 22, 1889.

HMS Calliope--the only ship to survive a hurricane in the harbor of Apia, Samoa.

I can picture this book, along with the others in the series. used as a basis for notebooking about American history.   The timeline and glossary resources along with the drawings created would help to make informative and fun notebook pages.

This book and the rest of books in the series can be found in Timberdoodle's history offerings.   Timberdoodle also offers a free catalog simply for the asking.

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

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