This fictional biography is a lovely addition to the books that I will be sharing with my children’s literature students. The text of the very first pages invites readers of all ages to connect with this giant of an American historical figure with the sentence, “When George Washington went to sleep Friday night, he was six years old. When he woke up on Saturday he was seven.”
The whimsical water color and pen illustrations by Barry Blitt include subtle references to iconic Washington items throughout. A highlight is the wordless double-page spread in the middle of the book showing the well-known tree chopping myth about Washington.
True facts about Washington are included on most pages in small, unobtrusive text-boxes. I especially appreciate the way that they clarify myth, reality, and fiction. This a key feature of the book that makes it a great example of the genre. The note at the end told in first-person by Washington about truth and fiction make this a great book for teachers to use with students from elementary and middle school.
Genres: picturebook, fictional biography, historical fiction
Source: MSU Children’s Literature office, received from publisher
The Horn Book included a review of the book in this post of Picture books for Presidents’ Day.
Addendum: My 7-year-old just came and saw that I was writing this review. She would like to add that she likes the true facts in the boxes and really likes the illustrations because they show that George Washington was a kid and acted like one before he was president.