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George Washington's Teeth Paperback – December 26, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (December 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312376049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312376048
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.5 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The creators of George Washington's Teeth unhinge the jaws of history to examine the mouth of America's first president, tracking the poor man's dental woes as he gallops to war, crosses the Delaware, and, with only two teeth left, takes his place as leader of the country. Washington was plagued by black, rotting teeth from the time he was 22, losing about one a year until he was nearly "toofless" and had to have his first dentures made from a hippotamus tusk (that's right, not wood!). Poets Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora begin their quirky historical tale at a lively clip: "The Revolutionary War/ George hoped would soon be won,/ But another battle with his teeth/ Had only just begun..." Indeed. Evidently he was losing teeth even as he crossed the Delaware: "George crossed the icy Delaware/ With nine teeth in his mouth./ In that cold and pitchy dark,/ Two more teeth came out!" (Cleverly, illustrator Brock Cole mimics Emanuel Leutze's famous painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware," making Washington seem more uncomfortably tight-lipped than dignified.) The story ends happily ever after with the crafting of a nice new pair of ivory false teeth that allow George to dance around the ballroom through the night. Truth be told, however, he would be deeply troubled by his teeth until the day he died. A four-page, illustrated historic timeline of Washington's life (and mouth) completes this carefully researched, very funny, charmingly illustrated picture book that works to humanize a larger-than-life historical figure and in turn, history itself. Brilliant! (Ages 7 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In a clever approach to history, Chandra and Comora string together spry stanzas describing the dental difficulties that plagued George Washington. Rhyming verse explains how the general's rotten teeth gradually fall out during the Revolutionary War: "George crossed the icy Delaware/ With nine teeth in his mouth./ In that cold and pitchy dark,/ Two more teeth came out!" Cole complements this verse by rendering a sly watercolor twist on Emanuel Leutze's famous painting George Washington Crossing the Delaware, in a full-spread treatment: Washington still stands in quiet dignity, but the boatmen are grinning. By the time Washington is elected president, just two teeth remain in his mouth. Kids will love the details, such as the way Washington uses a pair of his molars to fashion a mold from which the dentist makes a set of dentures (these are carved from hippopotamus ivory, and even shown, in a photograph in the afterword). Infusing his bustling watercolor vignettes with comic hyperbole, Cole easily keeps pace with the lighthearted narrative. One especially funny image shows the president sprawled on the floor, legs in the air, after viewing a newly painted portrait ("George stood up to have a look-/ He fell back on his fanny./ `It doesn't look like me!' he roared./ `It looks like Martha's granny!' "). An annotated timeline at the end includes quotes from the leader's letters and diaries chronicling his relentless efforts to hide his dental problems and the extent to which they caused him chronic pain and embarrassment. A highly palatable historical morsel. All ages.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Ther book provides a historical timeline in the back.
ardnam
I would highly recommend this book for the elementary and middle school reader.
kostlover
Youngsters will learn a bit of history as well as enjoy a rollicking good read.
Gail Cooke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Here's the real truth on our first President's tooth! No, he didn't really have a set of wooden teeth. But, poor man, the Revolution wasn't the only battle he fought. We learn in this delightfully illustrated book that from the age of 24 he lost a tooth a year. Hence, by the time he reached the presidency there were only two teeth left. (Their whereabouts in his mouth seem to be unknown).
Based on historical records as well as Washington's letters and diaries this is a sprightly, fascinating account of the root of his problem (pun intended).
Youngsters will learn a bit of history as well as enjoy a rollicking good read. For instance, they'll learn about Washington crossing the Delaware, and that he then had only nine remaining teeth. He didn't have too many teeth to chatter during the frozen winter at Valley Forge as there were only seven left.
According to a letter Washington wrote he did at one time wear false teeth secured by wires hitched around his remaining teeth. His last set of dentures were made by a Dr. Greenwood, and carved from hippopotamus ivory.
This is a well researched book complete with excerpts from Washington's letters and diaries. Witty pastel illustrations enhance the text. For all ages.
- Gail Cooke
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By ardnam VINE VOICE on March 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting new perspective on George Washington. It makes him seem more human to children. Young children are intrigued to have the myth of wooden teeth squelched. Ther book provides a historical timeline in the back. This is a great book for children of ALL ages. Even I, an older child and teacher, learned some things. I had no idea our first president was so obsessed with his teeth and that he had such an active role in the solutions to his dental problems. Highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Reading Teacher on February 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After reviewing this book for a graduate Children's Literature course, we were surprised to see how much George Washington's teeth played a role in his day to day life. It was a comical rhyming story that would be appropriate for elementary students. As Kindergarten and First Grade teachers we would incorporate its theme into teaching dental health. Young children are often very excited about losing their baby teeth, however, this book would convince them to take very good care of their grown up teeth. The book could also be used in upper elementary classes to discuss myths, like George Washington's wooden teeth!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
There are lots of ways of chronicling the change in the national temperament, and one of them is that when I was a kid it was the story of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree that was what stood out. However, the inquiring minds of the nation's youth today are now going to be more intrigued by the legend the first President had wooden teeth, which is precisely how Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora, aided and abetted by Brock Cole's pictures, manages to teach young readers a nice little lesson in the finer points of historiography.
Told in four line verse, "George Washington's Teeth" relates an imaginative set of encounters between General Washington and his dentist as the number of teeth in the mouth of the Father of Our Country decreases one by one over the years leading to Independence and the Presidency. Well, that is not entirely true since the authors have Washington losing two teeth the night be crossed the Delaware, but that left him with seven at that point in American history, which is a lucky number that fits the victory at Trenton. Eventually Washington is elected President, which is good, but has no teeth left, which is bad (especially when having your portrait painted). Fortunately, he comes up with a solution.
The first part of "George Washington's Teeth" is pretty whimsical, but then the last part of the book contains a time line of important events in George Washington's life from his own letters, diaries, and accounts.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JOE-JOE BOOKS on September 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
We bought this book last year after visiting Mount Vernon. We had told our (four and five year old) children of George Washington and his teeth since they started regular tooth brushing. We used the story of how poor George lost all his teeth to motivate them to brush their teeth regularly. Needless to say, they both have good dental care habits and good teeth to go with them! This book has cute illustrations to go with the rhymes on each page and made the stories all the more real to our children. At the back of the book there is a wonderful timeline that chronicles the story of George Washington's life and how his teeth were a big part of it. The timeline is done in a manner that will make adults appreciate the story of George Washington's life in a new way.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Lover of Books on May 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is a wonderful addition to any collection of books! It rhymes and makes history fun for kids. The pictures are wonderful and work very well with the text. I have read this to several elementary classes, and all of the students have really enjoyed it. In the back of the book there is a time line of actual historical facts about George Washington's teeth. I would recommend this book to anyone!
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