Drawing USA Presidents Review By Our Traveling Tribe 04

Roadschool Review: Draw your way through American History… by Our Traveling Tribe

Platforms: Book
Release Date: 2006
Genre(s): History
Publisher(s): Rosen
Rating: 5
Our Score
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Roadschool Review: Draw your way through American History… by Our Traveling Tribe

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Review By Our Traveling Tribe

If there is one thing that we love around here, it’s books. May sound odd from someone that chooses to live in an RV where there would be an obvious limit to the number of books one could take due to space and weight constraints, but it is true.
So, when Timberdoodle Co. (homeschool/roadschool suppliers) offered us the opportunity to review a new book, I said sure (always game for a new experience, and homeschool reviewer sounds interesting!). We love new books – especially ‘fun’ new school books. I wasn’t so sure how the book would fly around here, tho, when I found out that it was a ‘How to Draw the Presidents’ book, and that we couldn’t pick which president we would receive. I just hoped that we wouldn’t get some really boring president…LOL!
As most of you know, we are total Civil War buffs, so you can imagine that we were pretty tickled to find out that we would be getting Ulysses S. Grant. Really! There are few presidents that my guys would have liked a book on more.

Timberdoodle has supplied me with a sample book at no cost, and the opinions and words expressed here are entirely my own honest review of the product.

Even though the series is ‘How to Draw the Presidents’, the books are much more than just a how-to draw book. They are lovely library bound (hardcover, extra sturdy) picture books with lots of information about the president that spans his entire life. The books feature color drawings and pictures, large text for ease of reading (which is great if you have follow-along readers), and a time line of historical events for that president.

We have not had a ‘how to draw’ anything book for along time, so this was a first for the little boys. Geared for ages 8 to 12, it was just right for my 3 youngest boys (ages 7, 10, & 12), but definitely appropriate for both younger and older ages also.

The content was interesting – an age appropriate biography containing some new information from his personal life that we hadn’t known about, and concise enough to keep the younger kids’ interest.
Drawing USA Presidents Review By Our Traveling Tribe 01

The boys got out their sketch books, sharpened some pencils, and were ready for their impromptu drawing lesson – and it was a hit. They chose the easiest drawing for their first attempt, and made several ‘hey, this is fun!’ comments during the process.

Drawing USA Presidents Review By Our Traveling Tribe 02

I found it to be a independent activity, with no teacher help necessary (gotta love that!); each ‘lesson’ consists of 8 numbered boxes. The first box is the basic beginning shapes of the drawing based on circles, lines, ovals… , then each consecutive box adds a little more detail. The drawing that the student does for each box is shown in red, and then when the child moves to the next box, all previous box’s sketching is shown in black and the new details to be added in that box are shown in red – the boys found it very easy to follow. Emma (5) decided that the boys were enjoying themselves and she didn’t want to miss out, so she ran upstairs and grabbed some paper off the printer and joined them (and didn’t need a bit of help either).

Drawing USA Presidents Review By Our Traveling Tribe 03

The kids enjoyed drawing the tent so much that they moved on to another drawing afterwards. Of course they chose the hardest of the bunch – Grant on his horse in battle. While it took a bit longer, it was more of a challenge, and the boys were still happy with the results. I appreciated the fact that the drawings varied in difficulty, so if you have a child that already likes to draw, they will find pictures that will be more difficult than just a basic ‘how to draw’ lesson.
Drawing USA Presidents Review By Our Traveling Tribe 04

Emma (5), enjoyed it so much that after the boys had put the book away (after using it for multiple drawings and reading several more pages than I had covered), she got it back out and sat down to the table and did a few more pictures on her own.
Drawing USA Presidents Review By Our Traveling Tribe 05

Since our family loves all things history, this was a fun, interactive activity for school. Besides being a great art lesson, we also learned about both the private and professional life of President Grant, and got in some great ‘read aloud’ time for Thomas and Daniel.
The Grant book contained drawing lessons which included a tent, his wife, the family tannery his father owned while he was a boy, Hardscrabble (the home he built for his wife), Grant’s Tomb, Grant mounted on his horse, a portrait of Grant…

The boys did enjoy the book, and I can definitely see more of them coming on the road with us – they would be super read alouds when we are traveling to a historical site with ties to a certain president. And getting the kids some hands-on involvement with the lesson, in the form of drawing pertinent items, would be a great way to help them remember the details from that era/event.
Drawing USA Presidents Review By Our Traveling Tribe 06

The entire series of 42 hardcover books (covering Washington to Bush) is available from Timberdoodle Co., and there are a few individual titles available also – you can find them in Timberdoodles extensive collection of history books/curriculum.
While this is a book that I would have probably never ordered without seeing, now that we have been able to ‘test drive’ one, we would love to have the entire set on the road with us – excellent, engaging, hands-on history!


Posted by Joy | 26 May 2011 | 5 star, All Reviews

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