From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 3-6–A carefully researched, evenhanded narrative with well-crafted, vibrant, watercolor illustrations. Schanzer states that her challenge was to "…cram 20 years of history, biography, and philosophy into a picture book that kids could grasp and enjoy." She has been entirely successful. The introduction sets the tone, introducing both George Washington and King George III, mentioning their differing views, and noting that every story has two sides. The remainder of the book presents these two sides on spreads that alternate between the man and the monarch, with comparisons of the American and British governmental forms, views on taxation, the Boston Tea Party, and coverage of most of the major battles of the Revolutionary War. True to the author's intent, both Georges come off as decent men, with the interests of their respective countries at heart. The illustrations are amazing. Almost Brueghelesque in their detail, they show the major players as they actually looked. Speech balloons reproduce the exact words of the speakers, with appended "Quote Sources." This is a lovely book, showing historical inquiry at its best: consideration of both sides, a sound research basis, attribution of sources, and interesting writing. Written at a higher level than Jean Fritz's Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?
(Putnam, 1977), this book provides the perfect meld of instructional tool and general-interest reading.–Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA
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Gr. 5-7. With its attractive jacket, its sustained effort to report both British and American points of view, and its fully illustrated overview of events, this colorful book has many qualities that make it a good introduction to the American Revolution. Schanzer lays the groundwork well, profiling England's King George III, America's George Washington, and their respective governments before chronicling the course of the Revolutionary War. Occasionally cartoonlike in their dramatizations and speech balloons, the lively illustrations take up more space than the words, but the text is clearly written. However, near the end the question is asked, "So what was happening to American civilians all this time?" The answer seems to be mayhem
: people were tarred and feathered, women raped. Indians "tortured . . . whole families, and scalped the dead" and "honored their bravest victims by eating them." The American troops "showed off pairs of legging made from the skin of dead Indians." Given the book's highly illustrated format, this is too sensationalized for the age group, a jarring note in an otherwise solid offering. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved