Presidential Reads

Presidential MisadventuresThose Founding FathersThomas JeffersonDear Mr WashingtonPresident TaftiPhone George Washington


It’s Presidents Day and I planned to finish this post before the day arrived so I could post it.  I didn’t; but have decided to post it in it’s incomplete form.  These are some great books.  Trust me.

Presidential Misadventures:  Poems that Poke Fun at the Man in Charge by Bob Raczka and art by Dan E. Burr – Have you ever heard of a clerihew?  I hadn’t until I read this book.  It’s a four line poem that pokes fun at a famous person.  The first two lines rhyme and the third and fourth lines rhyme.  There’s a poem written about each of the forty-four presidents.

The Founding Fathers: Those Horse Ridin’, Fiddle Playin’, Book Readin’ Gun Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Barry Blitt

Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything by Maria Kalman – An exquisitely illustrated picture book describing the interests and complexities of Thomas Jefferson in simple age appropriate words.

Dear Mr. Washington by Lynn Cullen and pictures by Nancy Carpenter

President Taft is Stuck in the Bath by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

The Left Behinds and the iPhone That Saved George Washington by David Potter


11 Experiments That Failed


Last week was the Kindergarten and First grade Science fair at ML’s school.  It’s voluntary to participate.  Each year, I tell ML it is up to her and Daddy.  He’s a scientist.  So I get to enjoy the science fair without any of the parental stress.  As soon as I find my camera to upload the pictures, I’ll tell you more about ML’s project.  For now, I’ll share the perfect book to help explain the scientific process to elementary school students.

11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter – Between the illustrations and the science experiment ideas this is the funniest book about the scientific method.  It’s also the most effective.  When the paper from school arrived about the science fair, I pulled out this book.  There are eleven experiments.  Each experiment includes the following steps:

  • Question
  • Hypothesis
  • What You Need
  • What to Do
  • What Happened

All eleven experiments failed.   ML’s favorites included, “Would a gerbil like a bigger wheel?”  A trip to a ferris wheel is part of this experiment.  “Will a piece of bologna fly like a Frisbee?”  The result, “Teacher caught bologna with his head.  No recess.

I was hoping the “Can a washing machine wash dishes?” experiment results would be yes.  We don’t have a dishwasher, nor room for one in the kitchen.  Loading up the washing machine would simplify my life.  Clean dishes and clothes at the same time.

Looking forward to ML getting a little taller and she can have the dish washing chore.