Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? By Jean Fritz Pictures by Tomie dePaola 1977
Reading level: 4th-6th grade
While over thirty years old, this book’s text and pictures still make it a fun read. It traces King George’s life from boyhood to the end of the Revolutionary War. Our book club members enjoyed the different perspective the book offered on the War and the opportunity for kids to think about motives of King George III who is usually portrayed as the bad guy in the Rev War story. The text and pictures are clever – even producing several chuckles from adult readers – and we could see kids wanting to hear the story again and again. Plus, as historians, we love seeing pithy historical notes at the end of the book.
Thomas Jefferson: A Picture Book Biography By James Cross Giblin Illustrated by Michael Dooling 1994
Reading level: 3rd-5th grade
Beautifully illustrated, this biography for children covers all the important time periods of Jefferson’s life from his childhood to the founding of the University of Virginia. We thought children would especially relate to the description of Jefferson as a child and as a doting grandfather. The end of the book contains a helpful timeline of Thomas Jefferson’s Life as well as a description of a visit to Monticello. (Something we always love to see!) The text is sophisticated enough to be appropriate for upper elementary students. We could see this book being a wonderful resource for an elementary school library.
Does anyone remember reading Can’t You Make them Behave, King George? as a child? What memories do you have? Did you like it?
Because we are enveloped in all things Monticello and Jefferson, we need your outside perspective on a challenge we had discussing the books. Many biographies (both adult and child) have inaccuracies or leave out important context. How is it most helpful for us to address these holes? Should we?
February's Book Selections are Yankee Doodle America by Wendell Minor and A Picture Book of Thomas Jefferson by David Adler.