Big George by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Matt Phelan
George Washington was a tall, shy boy who loved to spend time on his own in the woods. He learned from his half brother to be a Virginia gentleman, and loved to read books about ancient Roman heroes like Cincinnatus. George grew into a man who worked on mapping the colony, loved the outdoors and excelled at sports, but he didn’t like to talk. He could never find the right words unless he was angry. Throughout this fascinating picture book, readers discover Washington’s path to greatness and history. It is an unlikely and intriguing story of the first President.
Rockwell’s Phelan’s illustrations offer glimpses into moments in history. Washington’s shock of red hair lends a different feeling to the history, as does seeing him as a boy who does more than chop down a cherry tree. This is a much more human and therefore more interesting person. Rockwell does well capturing history fully even though she is brief and concise.
Great for classroom use for President’s Day, this book will also find an audience amongst children who prefer nonfiction. Appropriate for ages 6-7, younger for reading aloud.