Booklist Spotlight on Crafts Top 10 Pick—“This very readable account of Washington's life is paired with appealing projects from the colonial period.”
Children's Literature—“One of 27 books in the ‘Build It Yourself’ series, this edition focuses on the life of George Washington. Beginning with a time-line of his life and a map of the colonies in the 18th century, the story follows with George’s birth in 1732 and early life on Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, VA and continues through eight chapters until his death in 1799. Each chapter highlights the many accomplishments of George’s fascinating life complete with personal details that will interest young readers. The appealing layout includes well researched material, boxed highlights of interesting facts, ‘words to know’ and cartoon-like drawings. The amount and variation of text is right on for novice history students. Throughout the workbook-like format, projects add interest for those students needing a hands-on approach. Projects include making a pretend sword from cardboard, a cup and ball toy, a quill pen and a letter seal. Most projects use readily available materials with detailed instructions. There’s a focus on vocabulary throughout with a follow-up glossary at the end of the book. An index is included, as well. It is a fun approach to history with wide appeal for a variety of learners.”
Booklist—“From the Build It Yourself series, this large-format paperback includes a very readable account of Washington’s personal life, his military career, and his years as president plus 25 projects related to the colonial period . . . the book offers a number of appealing activities, such as making swords from cardboard, paint, and aluminum foil; cooking hoecakes; and constructing a wig from a paper bag and cotton balls. The cartoon-style black-and-white illustrations are engaging. A time line, glossary, and lists of books and websites are appended. Grades 4–7.”
Ann Phillips Bay, Vice President for Education, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens—“This accurate and engaging biography provides an excellent introduction to George Washington and his times for young readers. It also contains an assortment of relevant projects that kids can do with inexpensive, easy-to-find materials. I plan to buy a copy for every child I know!”
SWON Libraries—“A good format for reluctant readers. The facts are well-chosen and interesting, and balance Washington's mistakes with his accomplishments. The objects selected for the craft projects are introduced with additional facts about their history and use. A well-written book, and an excellent resource.” Literary Merit: Very Good; Characterization: Very Good; Recommendation: Highly Recommended.
School Library Journal—“The life of George Washington lends itself remarkably well to a variety of kid-friendly crafts that don’t require old-fashioned materials or 18th-century skills. Children will get a kick out of some of the projects, like using a tea bag to make a map look old. Others will mystify them, especially as the crafts get more difficult and require more set-up . . . The projects separate biographical chapters that are thorough and clear. Sidebars with vocabulary words, quotes, interesting facts about the man and his time, and ‘What if?’ questions regarding pivotal moments in Washington’s life add to the text. These sidebars, as well as amusing cartoon illustrations, make the subject light and approachable. While the text clearly paints a picture of Washington as a great man and national hero, the author also points out the mistakes he made and how he learned from them, teaching kids an important lesson about failures. While there are many biographies of Washington for this age group, and many books of colonial crafts, this one is unique in its dual purpose and emphasis on accessibility, both in terms of the text and relative ease of the activities. While the design of the book lends itself to the possibility of kids enjoying it on their own, it will be most effective in a classroom.”