What did presidents do before being elected? Tour a gallery of presidential portraits and find out!
There is always just one president at a time, but the presidents to come—maybe 10 or more—will be out there somewhere. When John F. Kennedy was elected as the 35th president in 1961, the next 10 presidents were alive. What were they doing? Lyndon Baines Johnson was Kennedy’s vice president. Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer. George H.W. Bush was president of an oil exploration company. Donald Trump was attending a military academy, “where his father had hoped he would learn some discipline.” In his painterly art, Rex depicts a diverse group of people touring a gallery of presidential portraits. The tourists are multiracial and multiethnic, young and old. There’s a woman wearing a hijab pushing a stroller and a woman using a wheelchair. But the faces on the wall are all of white men until No. 44, President Barack Obama. There is no portrait of President Trump, but there is one of Hillary Clinton, “a woman nominated by a major party for the highest office of the land”—which, though true, is misleading in this context. Follow her gaze to an empty frame, No. 46, where the next portrait of a future president will be included. What are future presidents doing right now? The extensive backmatter is accessible and informative, and it includes reading suggestions for young readers.
Clear, engaging, and fun (and just a little iconoclastic). (presidential birthplaces, presidential requirements, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 8-12)