George: George Washington, Our Founding Father

Overview

Founding father George Washington’s boyhood defined our first president—see how in this picture book biography.

As a boy, with the help of his teachers, George Washington created a list of the values of civility that he wanted to live by:

1. When another speaks, be attentive yourself and disturb not the audience.
2. Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem ...

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Overview

Founding father George Washington’s boyhood defined our first president—see how in this picture book biography.

As a boy, with the help of his teachers, George Washington created a list of the values of civility that he wanted to live by:

1. When another speaks, be attentive yourself and disturb not the audience.
2. Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation, for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.

This richly illustrated picture book is based on that little-known historical document and chronicles George Washington’s life from boyhood to his extraordinary leadership position as the first President of the United States of America.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the second installment of the Mount Rushmore series (after Theodore) Keating—the former governor of Oklahoma—and Wimmer offer an accessible and graphically stunning picture book biography of the first president of the United States. Wimmer’s remarkably lifelike oil paintings of Washington as a schoolboy, surveyor, soldier, father, and politician are accompanied by a spare, impressionistic first-person narrative, studded with Washington’s actual quotes. Reproduced on simulated parchment pages, the text also includes quotations, printed in a script font to resemble handwriting, from the “Rules of Civility,” which Washington copied as a boy and which became his “primer on life.” The book reads as an aggregation of memories, not always smoothly linked. After a quick description of Washington’s civilian life (“When I left school, I became a surveyor. I was also a blacksmith and a carpenter”) and his devotion to the “Rules,” the narrative leaps to his military career, referenced in vague terms (“In my twenties I was in the midst of the action. I was a major of militia”). For newcomers to American history, it’s an insightful if sometimes choppy portrait of a very human Washington. Ages 6–9. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"By the age of 15, George Washington had written out a list of precepts taught to him by his teachers, the “Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation,” by which he lived and was guided throughout his life.
Excerpts from this little-known historical document appear throughout this stolid picture-book biography of our first president, in which Washington describes some salient details of his life and career in the first person... Wimmer’s paintings are masterful and dramatic ..." Kirkus Reviews

"Wimmer’s handsome, detailed paintings invite readers into Washington’s world. Period costume, furnishings, and weaponry, along with lifelike portraits of the subject at every age, enrich and inform the narrative. Each spread includes an illustration on the verso and text on aged parchment opposite. A first purchase." —School Library Journal, January 2012

From the Publisher
"By the age of 15, George Washington had written out a list of precepts taught to him by his teachers, the “Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation,” by which he lived and was guided throughout his life.

Excerpts from this little-known historical document appear throughout this stolid picture-book biography of our first president, in which Washington describes some salient details of his life and career in the first person... Wimmer’s paintings are masterful and dramatic ..." Kirkus Reviews

"Wimmer’s handsome, detailed paintings invite readers into Washington’s world. Period costume, furnishings, and weaponry, along with lifelike portraits of the subject at every age, enrich and inform the narrative. Each spread includes an illustration on the verso and text on aged parchment opposite. A first purchase." —School Library Journal, January 2012

School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Succinct, powerful text paired with well-researched, painterly oils make this a good read-aloud. Most spreads include one of the "Rules of Civility" that the teenaged Washington copied by hand and then embraced as a way of life. Quotes like "Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience" are both thought-provoking and worthy of class discussion. Beginning with his childhood and the loss of his father at age 11, this account of Washington's life shows how a leader among boys became the leader of our country. "At play I was tall and strong. Frequently, I was asked to be the peacemaker." The young man's lighter side is revealed in a quote he memorized from a tombstone: "John Hizer,/The Mizer,/Is wiser—we hope." Wimmer's handsome, detailed paintings invite readers into Washington's world. Period costume, furnishings, and weaponry, along with lifelike portraits of the subject at every age, enrich and inform the narrative. Each spread includes an illustration on the verso and text on aged parchment opposite. A first purchase.—Barbara Auerbach, PS 217, Brooklyn, NY
Kirkus Reviews
By the age of 15, George Washington had written out a list of precepts taught to him by his teachers, the "Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation," by which he lived and was guided throughout his life. Excerpts from this little-known historical document appear throughout this stolid picture-book biography of our first president, in which Washington describes some salient details of his life and career in the first person. The rules are worthy, but readers will note that there is usually no relationship between them and the facts presented on the same page. While the volume is stirring, there is no cohesion to the narrative, and it will not even serve report writers, as most dates and events go unmentioned, as do many highlights of Washington's story. Only the notes to the artwork provide some factual context. Young readers wondering if Washington ever faced any setbacks will find no evidence of them here. What emerges from these pages is a larger-than-life icon with no warts. Wimmer's paintings are masterful and dramatic, though some seem stiffly posed. The cover portrait is certainly rousing. Washington remains an historic hero despite flaws and defeats. These are recounted in far more accomplished biographies, and children will be better served by reading about the real man elsewhere. (author's note, artist's note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 8-11)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Keating's text is in the terse voice of Washington himself. He begins with his birth, childhood, and schooling. At fifteen, with his father gone, he is expected to help care for his large family. Interspersed throughout the text are examples from Washington's handwritten "Rules of Civility," for the good, moral life he would aim to lead. After being a surveyor, he becomes a major of militia, leading a party through the wilderness to deliver a message, despite being wounded and nearly drowned. He then fights with the English against the French. He marries at twenty-seven. When the debate on independence begins, he is there, soon to be named commander in chief of the American armies. He endures the difficulties of the Revolutionary War and the Constitutional Convention to be elected our first president. On the jacket is a portrait of Washington, a mature man seeming to peer into the future. Wimmer's full page oil paintings are almost photographic in their naturalistic details. In a concluding note he explains his creative process, which included using models and period costumes, "meticulously researched" for accuracy. There are also author notes, historic notes on the art, and a bibliography. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416954828
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 945,102
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Keating is also the author of Theodore and Will Rogers, a Spur Storytelling Award recipient. He has held many positions in public office, including Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Treasury and Associate Attorney General of the United States. He was elected Governor of Oklahoma in 1995 and completed his term in January of 2003. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Mike Wimmer is the illustrator of many popular and award-winning books, including Frank Keating’s Will Rogers, Summertime by George Gershwin, and Home Run by Robert Burleigh. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Enlightening

    I got this book to add to my books on Washington. I thought it was cleverly done written in GW's point of view.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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