George Washington's Cows

Overview

"George Washington's cows were kept upstairs,

And given their own special room.

They never were seen by light of day.

No matter for what or by whom."

These cows are just the beginning of George's problems. To be sure, his hogs are helpful around the house, but it irks Martha when their parties are better than hers. And then there are the ...

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Overview

"George Washington's cows were kept upstairs,

And given their own special room.

They never were seen by light of day.

No matter for what or by whom."

These cows are just the beginning of George's problems. To be sure, his hogs are helpful around the house, but it irks Martha when their parties are better than hers. And then there are the sheep—all of them smarter than Tom Jefferson, with degrees (no to say "sheepskins") to prove it. What's a Father of his country to do?

David Smalll puts a hilariously sticky fingerprint on the well-polished veneer of American history, showing readers what really went on in the home of our first President.

Humorous rhymes about George Washington's farm where the cows wear dresses, the pigs wear wigs, and the sheep are scholars.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Small relates the trials and tribulations that face gentleman farmer George Washington. As he is forced to cope with extraordinarily fussy cows, dandified pigs, and intellectually superior sheep, it soon becomes apparent that the man is simply not cut out for country living, and he jumps at the chance to make a career change. The only thing funnier than this book's lighthearted, irreverent rhyme is its marvelous watercolor artwork."-Starred, School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Witty and silly in equal measure, Small's (Ruby Mae Has Something to Say) cheeky expos about the real reason the father of our country went into politics works on a number of conceptual levels. George Washington's farm is home to a host of precocious animals, including some secretive, moody cows (``They had to be dressed in lavendar gowns/ and bedded on cushions of silk/ .../ Begged every hour in obsequious tones,/ Or they just wouldn't give any milk''); house-servant hogs (``Always polite and impeccably dressed,/ They were certainly well-bred swine''); and a crew of scholarly sheep bent on mastering the mysteries of the universe. Illustrations are opulent and expansive, with both the overall conceits and the characters' costumes wonderfully imaginative and inventive. Buoyant rhymed couples have an across-the-board appeal, while the sly political joke that closes the tale will satisfy adults primarily: George, stymied by the animals (``My cows wear dresses, my pigs wear wigs/ And my sheep are more learnd than me''), is last seen in a famous pose, being ferried across the Delaware, and saying, ``Sell the Farm... I'll try Politics!'' Smart entertainment. All ages. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-You may very well wonder how a man who could not tell a lie ever found his way into the political arena. Well, according to this outlandish historical tall tale, it all began at Mount Vernon. In description befitting the larger-than-life legend, Small relates the trials and tribulations that face gentleman farmer George Washington. As he is forced to cope with extraordinarily fussy cows, dandified pigs, and intellectually superior sheep, it soon becomes apparent that the man is simply not cut out for country living and he jumps at the chance to make a career change. The only thing funnier than this book's lighthearted, irreverent rhyme is its marvelous watercolor artwork. In accurately rendered detail, the artist's engaging double-spread cartoons depict the interiors and grounds of the historical site, and deftly incorporate the engaging, decidedly eccentric cast of characters, all in period costume. The future father of our country laments, ``My cows wear dresses, my pigs wear wigs,/And my sheep are more learned than me./ In all my days on the farm I've seen/nothing to equal such tricks.'' Washington takes a backseat here, but, as is often the case, the forces that motivate greatness are many, varied, and wide open for speculation.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374425340
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 3/11/1997
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 826,805
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.26 (w) x 7.97 (h) x 0.15 (d)

Meet the Author

David Small is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including Paper John, Fenwick's Suit, and The Huckabuck Family, a tale by Carl Sandburg. He has also done the pictures for three books written by his wife, Sarah Stewart: The Money Tree, The Library, and the Caldecott Honor Book The Gardener. He lives in Michigan.

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