By Margaret McNamara and Barry Blitt
Schwartz & Wade Books, $17.99, 32 pages
George Washington’s birthday is celebrated on the third Monday of February. Banks, post offices and schools close on this American holiday. Elementary school children are taught about our first President’s goodness and virtue. George Washington’s Birthday: A Mostly True Tale is author Margaret McNamara’s exploration of the information kids learn. She wants to set the record straight and expose the truth behind popular tall tales. Her book focuses on George’s seventh birthday. He is very excited. The story is told from his point of view. He discusses myths people commonly believe to be true about his life. Did he really chop down a cherry tree? Did he ever tell a lie? McNamara attempts to debunk these myths and shares what most likely happened instead. The text, accompanied by Barry Blitt’s beautiful watercolor illustrations, cleverly foreshadows future events, including George’s crossings of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War. McNamara does an excellent job of differentiating between fact and fiction. Kids will enjoy this book about the father of our country.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin