|George Washington's birthday : a mostly true tale|
Author: McNamara, Margaret
On George Washington's seventh birthday, he does chores, misbehaves, and dreams of a day when his birthday will be celebrated by all.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.10
Points: .5 Quiz: 148823
Common Core Standards
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Craft & Structure
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/11)
School Library Journal (01/01/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (01/12)
The Hornbook (00/01/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2012 Here’s a promising idea: introduce Presidents Day with a book about Washington’s birthday-at least, a sassy, fictionalized vision of what the future Founder’s seventh birthday might have been like. The event starts out as a pretty disappointing affair: despite George’s hints, nobody in the family seems to give any thought to the day’s significance, and the birthday boy is expected to go through his customary rounds of lessons with his older stepbrother and chores with his father, which leads directly to the storied debacle of the cherry tree and the little axe. McNamara coyly slips snippets of legend and apocrypha into the day’s events, which will tickle kids who get the joke but leaves the uninitiated to the mercy of the endnotes to sort the whole business out. (And best wishes to the adult reader who gets to explain the gag article heading “Don’t Axe Don’t Tell Repealed” in the elder Washington’s newspaper.) Line-and-watercolor pictures in washed-out shades of blue, beige, and rose go for broad humor and portray the bewigged George as a mercurial little spitfire, no doubt intended as comical contrast to the more sedate images assigned to him later in life. Kids who want to explore how a presidential legend can take on a life of its own will be better served by Deborah Hopkinson’s delightful Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek (BCCB 10/08), but this could offer a light diversion among more substantial Presidents Day readings. EB - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2012 K-Gr 2—On his seventh birthday, young George waits for his family to remember his special day while working hard and displaying the characteristics for which he is famous (honesty, studiousness, etc.). The text is a mix of fictional narrative and factual sidebars. Oddly, the story itself reinforces some of the myths debunked by the fact boxes; for instance, George is shown in a wig despite the footnote that explains how he only powdered his hair. A final note in Washington's voice clarifies the true facts behind the story, including an intriguing but unexplained mention that the calendar was different in 1732, so that his birthday was actually February 11, not February 22. The loose, cartoony watercolors by New Yorker artist Blitt impart a wry humor, and the muted palette gives a colonial flavor. The tale is mildly amusing and certainly informational, but the tension between fact and fiction may prove confusing to young readers. Teachers seeking material for Washington's Birthday may find this book is good filler, but it is not a first purchase.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2012 A young George Washington awakes on his seventh birthday with a hope familiar to seven-year-olds everywhere: that his birthday will be special. Instead, he has a day filled with events that will find their way into history books. He notes and records the weather. He throws a rock across the Rappahannock River. He chops down a cherry tree. And then, finally, there’s a surprise party, and the promise that George’s birthday will be remembered in perpetuity. McNamara peppers a colloquial narrative with factual asides set apart with decorated borders. Blitt matches the ebullient tone with spare, sketchy watercolors dressed with period accoutrements and peopled with bright, gangly caricatures. Young George is shown as a statesman in miniature, dressed in a founding father’s garb, complete with powdered wig (which, we learn, he never really wore). In a first person afterword, George himself traces the line between fact and fiction, adding a meta-nod to the intentional, meaningful blur. This will not only entertain young readers, but also offer a beginning look at the many varieties of truth. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.