An oversized (12""-square) pictorial survey of the US presidents. For each administration, Provensen has designed a montage encapsulating major occurrences--e.g., Washington, in a portrait that echoes the face on the dollar bill, gestures toward a replica of the bill's eye-topped pyramid, built of famous and less-famous firsts: first copyright laws, first national game law, first presidential fable, etc. With presentations varying from double-spread to half page, some less well-known figures get suitably short shrift: William Henry Harrison, president for just a month, is remembered only for the Amistad Decision. The idea here is ingenious, the pages well designed and the color dignified yet attractive. But the rhymed couplets summarizing the presidents, while sometimes clever, are more often forced, resorting to senseless repetitions in order to scan; and, sad to say, the art is also clumsy in detail, with wooden figures and bland, inexact likenesses. An innovative volume that may interest and inform browsers, but a very mixed effort.