cover image George Washington: A Picture Book Biography

George Washington: A Picture Book Biography

James Cross Giblin. Scholastic, $11.14 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-590-42550-6

Giblin's ( Chimney Sweeps: Yesterday and Today ; The Truth About Santa Claus ) simplified yet well-rounded portrait of Washington offers considerable insight into the private man. During his early years on a Virginia farm, Washington was devoted to his half-brother, Lawrence, who went on to own Mount Vernon. After Lawrence's death, Washington married Martha Custis and farmed the Mount Vernon land until he was appointed Commander in Chiefstet of the country's armed forces. Giblin describes Washington's triumphs and hardships during the Revolutionary War, and the many crucial decisions made during his two terms as the country's first President. The appealingly informal text is laced with engaging details: Washington had a hard time with spelling as a child; he refused to accept pay for his military services; and the reason he looks so serious in his celebrated portrait by Gilbert Stuart is that his dentures--made from hippopotamus teeth--were hurting that day. Sharing the credit for the book's success are Dooling's vivid, beautifully textured oil paintings, which add drama to the story of this modest, fair and ultimately devoted man. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)