Columbus Dispatch Arts Editor and youth book expert Nancy Gilson has found a great book for this Presidents’ Day:
Fifty years ago on Jan. 20, John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the nation's 35th (and youngest) president.
In the short time he held the office -- just more than 1,000 days -- cameras seemed to capture his every move. And the charismatic Kennedy was a politician who understood the power of the press better than most of his predecessors.
In Kennedy Through the Lens: How Photography and Television Revealed and Shaped an Extraordinary Leader (Walker, 96 pages, $19.99, age 12 and older) the newest of his "Through the Lens" series, Martin W. Sandler collects a host of Kennedy images, arranging them by categories: Kennedy's parents and siblings, his marriage to Jacqueline Bouvier, his World War II service, the presidential campaign, the space race, the Bay of Pigs, his assassination and more, with each section offering brief but insightful commentary with the photos.
Some pictures are familiar: a shirtless JFK standing with his men in front of the PT boat he commanded during the war, toddler John-John peeking out from beneath his father's desk in the Oval Office, Lyndon Johnson taking the oath of office beside Kennedy's widow.
But there are others that people might not have seen.
Daughter Caroline Kennedy (looking to be about 5 years old and sitting with cousin Maria Shriver) made a face for White House photographer Cecil Stoughton — something she apparently did every time he started to photograph her.
Stoughton, who later said that among his greatest joys as Kennedy's photographer was taking pictures of his children, also captured Caroline and John in their Halloween costumes, making their father roar with laughter in the Oval Office.
Stoughton also once caught Kennedy on the ground, cringing as one of his children's ponies, Leprechaun, nibbled his ear.
Writes Sandler, "As Stoughton raised his camera, Kennedy called out to him, ‘Keep shooting. . . . You are about to see a president being eaten by a horse.' "
The book, the third in the series, features more than 100 photographs. Sandler has written more than 60 other books, including the Library of Congress American History Series for Young People.