Boston Tea Party

Overview

What would lead someone to go out in the middle of the night and throw shiploads of tea into a harbor? The Boston Tea Party is a familiar tale, but the story leading up to it goes beyond the drama of that one night. Pamela Duncan Edwards' unique take on this event gets to the root of the story as this prelude to the Revolutionary War unfolds. Enhanced by English and colonial mice characters, Henry Cole's rich and mood-evoking illustrations bring the story to life.

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Overview

What would lead someone to go out in the middle of the night and throw shiploads of tea into a harbor? The Boston Tea Party is a familiar tale, but the story leading up to it goes beyond the drama of that one night. Pamela Duncan Edwards' unique take on this event gets to the root of the story as this prelude to the Revolutionary War unfolds. Enhanced by English and colonial mice characters, Henry Cole's rich and mood-evoking illustrations bring the story to life.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The cumulative "House That Jack Built" form presents the events leading up to the famous party in sometimes awkward but simple prose. From the tea leaves and the tea itself through the English king, the colonists and the patriots, the summary of basic facts leads to our current celebrations of freedom and independence. Cole's naturalistic, acrylic paint and colored pencil, double-page scenes describe the basic action with dramatic simplicity. What adds considerable sparkle are a crew of mice who, in speech balloons, give a running explanatory commentary, a bit like the words found in a history text. Of course, there's always the one in the bunch who can think only about cheese, adding humor to the history. The mice march along a ribbon timeline from 1763 to 1783 with a factual summary at the end. 2001, G.P. Putnam's Sons, $15.99. Ages 6 to 9. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-This picture book opens in a far-off, long-ago land where sari-draped women pick tea leaves and ends with a modern-day July 4th celebration, complete with fireworks. In between, the history of the Boston Tea Party unfolds in cumulative, clumsy prose with cartoon Colonial mice explaining in asides, "Dressing up as Mohawks will fool the British," and reminding each other not to "dump any cheese by mistake." However, the double-page acrylic-and-colored-pencil illustrations help compensate for the awkwardness of the telling. George III is portrayed in all his removed-from-it-all pomposity while patriots are shown as down-to-business and capable. (British mice are appropriately attired in red coats.) A pictorial time line summarizes the whole shebang-from the end of the French and Indian War in 1763 to the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Steven Kroll's The Boston Tea Party (Holiday, 1998) is a finely illustrated alternative for slightly older kids. Despite mixed results, Edwards's title may have value as an introduction to this important historical event.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Here is the Boston Tea Party in a format that uses the cumulative repetition of "This is the House that Jack Built" to unfold events. Elementary school teachers introducing the Revolutionary War may find this a novel approach, but the lines are awkward when read aloud, and lack the gentle rhyme and cadence that makes "Jack" a perennial favorite. Edwards begins in India: "These are the leaves that grew on a bush in a far-off land and became part of the Boston Tea Party," and progresses to the first battles of the wars, concluding with "These are the Americans, independent and free, who honor the soldiers who fought for freedom remembering the tea chests, 340 in number, which bobbed in the harbor stained dark brown. ‘Like a giant teapot!' shouted the sailors. . . . " Cole's illustrations are handsome and humorous, with resolute patriots, an indolent King George, and cheeky mice commenting on the humans while paddling around Boston Harbor in a tea cup. A final double page provides a timeline of events from 1763, the end of the French and Indian War when England decided to keep troops in America, through 1783 and the signing of the Treaty of Paris. A good idea, only partially successful. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399233579
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 457,112
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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