Drawing USA Presidents Review by Adventures in Unsell Land 2

A Kid’s Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA~ Timberdoodle Review by Adventures in Unsell Land

Platforms: Book
Release Date: 2006
Genre(s): History
Publisher(s): Rosen
Rating: 5
Our Score
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A Kid’s Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA~ Timberdoodle Review by Adventures in Unsell Land

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Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Review by Adventures in Unsell Land
Drawing USA Presidents Review

As a member of the Timberdoodle Blogger Review team we were recently given the opportunity to review one of the books in the series, A Kid’s Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the USA.

This series of books include forty-two library-bound, fact-filled, biographical synopses of every U.S. president from George Washington to George W. Bush. As you read through these books you also draw your way through them with step-by-step instructional drawings that illustrate key events, people, and places in each president’s life.

For this review we were sent the book How to Draw the Life and Times of William Howard Taft by Ryan P. Randolph.

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32 pages in length, this book walked us through a very good overview of who William Howard Taft was from his childhood to death. Did you know that Roosevelt and Taft were good friends and that Roosevelt encouraged Taft to run for President in 1908? Did you know that Taft really didn’t enjoy being president because he didn’t like conflict? Did you know that to this day, William Howard Taft is the only person to serve as both a president and a chief justice of the United States? Those are just a few of the things that we learned from this book.

The first 2 pages include a brief overview of his entire life and a guide that shows what supplies you will need to complete the drawing lessons in this book. The supplies are basic such as a pencil, a good eraser, and a ruler. The guide also shows the shapes and drawing terms that are used within the drawing lessons. Each drawing lesson uses basic shapes and lines such as ovals, rectangles, wavy lines, triangles, and more. The rest of the book is broken down into chapters which cover in a bit more detail the basic overview that was presented at the start of the book. In this book you will learn about Taft as President, Taft’s childhood and family in Ohio, his education, his start in politics, his involvement and stance on labor unions, and his wife. You will also learn about his involvement with the Philippines as governor, when he served as Secretary of War, his relationship with Roosevelt, and his position as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The last page wraps up with some words that summarize Taft’s Legacy. Included in the back of the book is a timeline and a glossary that includes words from the book that your children may need to know the definitions of. Their is also a link to a website where you can see an online list of websites that relate to the subject of each book. The websites are updated on a regular basis.

We felt that the book gave a really good overview of who Taft is. It seemed to cover all of the major aspects of his life. It doesn’t go into a lot of great detail about each of those things but does cover all major events in it’s 32 pages.

THE DRAWING LESSONS:

The book is set up so that you read one page about Taft and then do a drawing lesson that relates to what you have read. For example while learning about his childhood and education the drawing lesson is to draw the Yale University Shield because Taft attended Yale University. While learning about Taft’s first job serving on the Sixth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals as a judge, the drawing lesson was to draw a steam engine train because the book talked about unrest between men who worked at railroad, steel, and mining companies, the unions involvement, and Taft’s stance on refusing to allow other railroad workers to strike during that time. This lesson was my 11 year old daughters favorite drawing lesson from this book and I thought she did a great job on it!

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It took her about an hour to complete this drawing but she was bound and determined to draw and erase each line precisely as the lesson requested. She enjoyed the challenge and she was pleased with her end result too.

Other drawing lessons in the Taft book include, the key to Manila, a boat on the Panama Canal, the seal that was on Taft’s election campaign poster, the Supreme Court, and more.

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This is the boat on the Panama Canal drawing.

Another drawing lesson was on drawing Taft himself.

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This is the picture that the drawing lesson walked you through to draw.

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This was step 2 in the drawing process.

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My daughters drawing after following all of the steps.

The drawing lessons in this book are very detailed and in my opinion would not be for younger children. I tried a few myself and actually found myself getting a bit frustrated with some of them. The lessons take you through various steps. Their are 6-8 steps per lesson. You follow the steps and along the way you end up needing to erase certain lines that you previously drew. The concept is wonderful but because each of the drawings are pretty detailed and intricate, it got to be a bit frustrating at moments in trying to understand exactly what lines needed to be erased and which ones to keep. If the author had included more steps into the drawing activity it would have helped it to not be as confusing at times. If you have a child that is not that good at drawing and gets frustrated easily, then I would be concerned that these lessons might not be the best for them. If you have a child that doesn’t mind a good drawing challenge then they would probably really enjoy these drawing lessons.

Overall, I really like these books. I have looked into a good bit of resources on the Presidents and this is probably my favorite when it comes to a good basic overview of each President. William Howard Taft is not a president that I was overly familiar with prior to reading this book with the kids. I feel like I walked away from this book having learned a great deal about him from the short 32 pages offered in this book. If you are looking for lots and lots of details on every aspect of a President life, you won’t find it in these books. But if you are looking for a wonderful overview or introduction into each president, these books offer just that, in my opinion. The reading part of the lessons do not take long at all. The drawing aspect of the lessons take up the most time and that varies depending on your child.

I actually purchased the book on Ronald Reagan because he is my favorite president and one that I know a lot about. I wanted to compare what I knew already from all of my reading on him through the years, with what this series offered up on him and I was very pleased with the overview given on Reagan as well. It should be noted too that 2 of the drawing lessons in the Ronald Reagan book were much more simple than all of the others or the ones in this Taft book. One of my younger daughters wanted to draw several of the things she saw in the Reagan book. She did so without following the lessons directly. She just looked at the pictures and then copied them. Even though this review is about the Taft book, I wanted to go ahead and show you what she did from the Reagan book as well.

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I did not even try to have my daughter (9) who is pictured here follow the drawing lessons because I knew they would overwhelm her. I just let her do her own thing and I share this to show that the drawing lessons can be very fun and effective even if your child isn’t following the steps on the drawing part at all. It should be noted too that these were the two lessons in the Reagan book that I felt were easier than the others and my daughter actually chose these two lessons on her own after looking through each drawing lesson that was presented in the book.

Despite most of the drawing lessons being a bit on the difficult side, I still plan to buy and use these books with our own children. Drawing something that connects with what you have read is a great way to remember and even if your student doesn’t follow the exact instructions with these drawing lessons they can still produce a good drawing that relates to the reading just by using the drawing suggestions in these books as a guideline (or even just going off of the main picture if your child prefers to draw that way, as my daughter did in the above picture).

The complete set of 42 hardcover books in this series usually retails for $1060.50! You will be happy to hear though that Timberdoodle is currently selling the entire set at an extremely discounted rate of $195…that’s a savings of $865.50! You can visit, HERE, to learn more. Why the huge discount? The publisher is (sadly) discontinuing the series and Timberdoodle was able to get a really good deal on the entire set. You should know though that quantities are limited and when they are gone, they are gone. If your interested you need to act now! We all know that once books are discontinued they become harder to find and when you do find them the prices will be outrageous. This current deal from Timberdoodle cannot be beat.

Not interested in purchasing the entire set? That’s ok too. Timberdoodle is offering some of the books individually at the amazing sale price of 9.95$ each. Not all of the books in the set are offered individually so hop on over to Timberdoodle to see which ones are.

You can also view some sample PDF pages from 4 of the books, HERE. Be sure and check out the very informative 2-minute video on that page as well which is a great introduction into the series and offers up some wonderful ideas for using the books.

Members of the Timberdoodle Blogger Review Team were all sent different books to review so I would encourage you to check out their reviews, HERE.

Want to learn more about Timberdoodle and view the other products that they offer to homeschoolers? Timberdoodle can be found on Facebook, HERE, and you can request a catalog from them by going, HERE. I always love getting a Timberdoodle catalog in the mail. From the time we started homeschooling 10 years ago, they have been one of my favorite companies. They offer amazing descriptions and photos in their catalogs and I always feel confident that what I am purchasing will be just what they have described because it always has been. In all of these years, I have never been disappointed.

A huge thank-you to Timberdoodle for the opportunity to review this book. Disclaimer: As a member of the Timberdoodle Blogger Review Team we were sent this book for FREE in exchange for our honest review on this blog. No other compensation was received. All opinions on this blog are my own.


Posted by Joy | 01 Jun 2011 | 5 star, All Reviews

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