As you have probably guessed, today’s books are ones we enjoyed last month, the month of Presidents’ Day. I’m behind, as usual. Here are some early recommendations for February 2012 ;- ).
I’m probably showing my ignorance, but I didn’t know that George Washington was such an animal lover. Obviously, my American History education left something to be desired. 😉 Well, he loved them so much that he owned thirty-six in his lifetime. Thirty-six dogs! This and many other animal minutiae are found in George Washington and the General’s Dog by Frank Murphy. Of course, the big story and the one from which this book takes its name is the story of George Washington finding the British General William Howe’s dog during a Revolutionary War battle. So great was Washington’s love and respect for a man’s relationship with his pets that he actually had General Howe’s dog returned to him. This book is a Step into Reading book, so it’s appropriate for young readers. However, this did not detract from the interest level at all; in fact, I love finding high-interest nonfiction titles like this that Lulu can read on her own or aloud to us. I also like that this book includes an author note with a picture of the actual handwritten letter that Washington sent to General Howe regarding his dog. Richard Walz‘s illustrations are true enough to historical depictions of Washington that he is definitely recognizable, yet the illustrations retain a child-friendly, almost cartoonish appearance that keeps the story light-hearted. This is a great history story that shows a very personal side of our first president.
George Did It! by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain is a story with perseverance as a theme, but it still manages to be light-hearted and fun. I really like this one, as do my girls, and again, I’ve learned many things about George Washington that I’d either forgotten or never knew. George Did It! really capitalizes on the fact that Washington never really wanted to be president; that taking the Office caused him much personal sacrifice and even distress, at times; and that his new job was untried, and much of what he did was so much groping in the darkness. The bottom line, of course, is that “George did it” anyway. What a message! Larry Day‘s illustrations, like those in George Washington and the General’s Dog, are both historically accurate and amusing; I particularly like the one of tall George hugging his short mother goodbye as he leaves for New York. I give this one a Highly Recommended for any history study, or just for fun.
Well, as you might guess, next week I’m planning to highlight a few titles about our sixteenth president–I certainly can’t leave him out! Of course, next Thursday is also St. Patrick’s Day, so I wanted to link up my past St. Patrick’s Day post today, just in case anyone is looking for a good title or two to share: Read Aloud Thursday–St. Patrick’s Day Edition.