The Founding Fathers! Those Horse-Ridin’, Fiddle-Playin’, Book-Readin’, Gun-Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America

Jonah Winter, illus. by Barry Blitt. S&S/Atheneum, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4424-4274-0

Pointing out that the expression “Founding Fathers” sounds like the name of a rock band or baseball team, Winter looks into who 14 of these men really were, warts and all: “Thomas Jefferson was sort of a mixed bag. Dude wrote that ‘all men are created equal.’ But then he also wrote that blacks were inferior humans!” Winter includes quotations from each man, as well as lists of stats with categories including their wealth, political party, “Stance on France,” and “Opinion on Boston Tea Party” (Benjamin Rush was a “huge fan”). Blitt’s pen-and-ink caricatures are right in line with Winter’s playful tone, as he pokes fun at Washington, Franklin, Paine, and others, while giving readers a strong understanding of why these figures’ contributions to the developing nation were so significant. Ages 5–8. (Jan.)