Book: George Washington’s Teeth

George Washington’s Teeth
Deborah Chandra And Madeleine Comora
Illustrated by Brock Cole
2003

This is a funny, somewhat irreverent book telling the story of George Washington’s many dental problems. It is told in short verses and watery, almost sketchy illustrations. The verses are simple and tend to rhyme. They are funny and focus on the parts of the story that kids are likely to find entertaining. The history of Washington’s part in our country’s history is there, from what battles he fought in and where he was to when he became president, but it isn’t the focus of the story. The battles are told in how many teeth Washington lost rather than how important they may have been to our history. For a very young audience, this is a great approach.

The story is funny and educational, but it doesn’t force a lesson at all. If anything, it pushes the lesson to the background. There is a factual time line in the back of the book, which could give older children a place to start on research or give kids who just find the history interesting more facts. I was very pleased with the writing in this book. It was a pleasure to read.

The illustrations are great. They show historical dress, furniture and even weaponry, but they are fun and funny as well. They don’t feel like strong historical pieces, but rather pieces that are meant to expand the story being told. They show what was happening around Washington with the country, but he is always in the middle dealing with his rotten teeth. The pages filled with pictures of the dentist trying to deal with Washington’s teeth are some of the best, despite being some of the busiest!

This was a cute book and I would definitely recommend it. Even if the history is completely unimportant to the child at hand, the story is funny and should provide entertainment!

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