Dolley Madison Saves George Washington

Dolley Madison Saves George Washington

5.0 1
by Don Brown
     
 

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Everybody talked about Dolley Madison.
Dolley was a farm girl who became a fine first lady when she married James Madison. She wore beautiful dresses, decorated her home, and threw lavish parties. Everyone talked about Dolley, and everyone loved her, too.
Then war arrived at her doorstep, and Dolley had to meet challenges greater than she'd ever

Overview

Everybody talked about Dolley Madison.
Dolley was a farm girl who became a fine first lady when she married James Madison. She wore beautiful dresses, decorated her home, and threw lavish parties. Everyone talked about Dolley, and everyone loved her, too.
Then war arrived at her doorstep, and Dolley had to meet challenges greater than she'd ever known.

So Dolley did one thing she thought might make a difference: she saved George Washington.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
When it became apparent that the invading British would overtake the White House during the War of 1812, Dolley Madison had the presence of mind to take valuable papers and the Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington, thus preserving it for future generations. Brown begins this tale of bravery by describing Dolley as an ordinary person who had a flair for entertaining. She was the White House hostess for President Jefferson, and then for her own husband, President Madison. Brown's smooth storytelling, combined with his drawings, presents many facts about the war, the First Lady, the Founding Fathers, the importance of this particular painting, and the origins of the American National Anthem in such a way that the reader is anxious to turn the page to find out what happened next. Brown's pen and ink, watercolor, and digitally created illustrations present Dolley in her trademark turbans, show the painting in the White House, and create the atmosphere and societal effects of the war. The double-page illustration of King George squaring off with Uncle Sam brilliantly captures the main issues of the war. It lends itself nicely to discussions of what it means to be brave, women's studies, art history, and the War of 1812. It is a fine choice to introduce this time period to high school American history classes, too. An author's note and a bibliography are included in the back of this entertaining and informative picture book. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4
Known for her "beauty, her stunning gowns, and her delightful banquets," Dolley Madison first served as the premier Washington, DC, hostess while her husband, James Madison, was secretary of state under Thomas Jefferson because the president was a widower. She continued to throw "wonderful dinner parties" during her husband's subsequent eight-year presidency. While First Lady, she redecorated the President's Mansion, ensuring that Gilbert Stuart's portrait of George Washington was prominently displayed. However, it was during the War of 1812 that she earned the gratitude of her nation when, despite the fact that the 100 soldiers assigned to protect the mansion ran off, she bravely remained behind to make sure that the painting as well as important government documents were saved from otherwise certain destruction by British forces. Pen and ink and watercolors effectively depict the simplicity and roughness of Colonial life and convey with humor the spirit of the time and characters; however, the facial features are for the most part bland. An author's note provides additional information about Stuart and Dolley Madison. Readers will enjoy this exciting picture-book biography of an important First Lady.
—Kirsten CutlerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Brown continues his string of exemplary biographies for younger readers with this profile of the most charming, charismatic and intrepid first lady ever. Between shorter looks at Dolley Madison's earlier and later life, he focuses on her leading role in Washington society and her courage during the War of 1812. After the soldiers who were supposed to guard the presidential mansion fled, she lingered to make sure that a life-sized Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington was removed before the occupying British could destroy it, and then disguised herself as a farm woman to get away. In the watercolor illustrations, her smiling good nature and exotic attire come through clearly in brighter days, and in darker, she radiates a sturdy presence even in plainer garb. Her altogether admirable tale makes a terrific lead-in to the likes of Robert Quackenbush's James Madison and Dolley Madison and Their Times (1992). (author's note, note on Stuart, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-9)
From the Publisher
"Dashing line-and-watercolor artwork…A sure handed wedding of text and art that brings history to life." Booklist, Starred 9/1/07 Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

Pen and ink and watercolors effectively depict the simplicity…of Colonial life…Readers will enjoy this exciting picture-book biography...
School Library Journal

"Brown continues his string of exemplary biographies...In the watercolor illustrations, [Dolley's] smiling good nature and exotic attire come through clearly in brighter days, and in darker, she radiates a sturdy presence even in plainer garb." Kirkus, Starred 9/15/07 Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"Historical figures… come to life with a few spidery lines and generous dollops of translucent watercolor..."—The Bulletin Nov.2007 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A sure-handed wedding of text and art that brings history to life." Book Links STARRED November 2007 Book Links, ALA

Children's Literature - Elizabeth Swartz
Picture book biographies are getting more beautiful and informative than ever. Don Brown has written several and continues his work with this detailed look at early American history. Everyone loved Dolley Madison and the special flare and charm she brought to the White House. She remodeled the mansion with velvet curtains and hand-woven carpets. But one thing she left unchanged was the large portrait of George Washington. She loved the work Gilbert Stuart had done in showing Washington as a leader of his people, but not as a king. Dolley was related to the former President by marriage and, perhaps, it gave her an extra reason to save the painting when the White House was set on fire by the British is 1814. The frame was too heavy so she instructed workmen to chop the painting free from it. Only then did she flee the city. The story is told sequentially and illustrated in muted colors that evoke the time period. Some quotes are used that might come from the primary source listed in the bibliography, however, it is not clarified for young readers. Other resources include a page of background information about the famous painter and his other works. The author’s note goes into more detail about Dolley’s life and explains why her name is spelled with an “e.” A short bibliography is also included. Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz; Ages 4 to 7.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547349046
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/22/2007
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
Lexile:
NC920L (what's this?)
File size:
14 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him “a current pacesetter who has put the finishing touches on the standards for storyographies.” He lives in New York with his family.

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Dolley Madison Saves George Washington 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago