Presidential Misadventures: Poems that Poke Fun at the Man in Charge
Author: Bob Raczka; Illustrator: Dan E. Burr
Published: January 27, 2015 by Roaring Brook Press
Summary: A spoonful of poetry helps the mockery go down! This collection of presidential poems is historical and hysterical.
The clerihew is a simple poetic form specifically invented to make fun of famous people—and who is more famous than the misbehaving presidents of the United States? Here are forty-three poems teasing the commander-in-chief that are fun to read aloud and even more fun to write yourself. From the author of the incredibly inventive Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word comes a new collection filled with zingers, humdingers, and Presidential Misadventures.
Review: As a student, history was always my least favorite class. But yet, I would go home and cuddle on my couch with historical fiction. Admittedly, presidents have never interested me much (and I am not proud to say this). This book is FUN. The poems made me giggle, and I found myself googling the facts in the poems to learn more about the background of the stories. After reading this book, I was inspired to reserve Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word because the author is quite clever. I read this book aloud to my son and husband while we were eating dinner, and I kept holding out the book and saying, “Oh my goodness. Look at this drawing!” Those who are knowledgeable about presidents (like my husband) will likely know many of these stories, but kids will enjoy learning about history and be inspired to learn more about the presidents.
Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: Each of the poems in this book is discussed in depth in the back matter. I would have my students each take two poems and perform them in front of the class. Then, they could briefly describe the history behind the story. This would help students practice speaking skills, and the poems would stick in the other students’ minds. Of course, having students research their own facts about presidents to create poems would also be fun!
Discussion Question: Which presidential story was your favorite? Look up one more fact about that president and write a short poem to reflect the information. Be prepared to share this fact with the class.
Read This If You Love: History, Humor, and/or Poetry
**Thank you to Macmillan for sending this book for review**