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Joke's on George, The Paperback – September 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When George Washington is invited to his friend Charles Wilson Peale's natural history museum, he falls for a sophisticated practical joke (involving trompe l'oeil). "Though humorous, the author's exclamatory style is sometimes strained," said PW. Ages 6-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 6-9. From the eighteenth-century journals of Rembrandt Peale comes an incident concerning Peale's father, Charles Willson Peale, and President Washington. The elder Peale was a portrait artist, an inventor, and the curator of his own natural history museum in Philadelphia. Visiting the museum, President Washington caught sight of two of the artist's sons ascending a back staircase and greeted them. When they failed to reply or even to move, he realized to his amazement that he had been fooled by a trompe l'oeil painting mounted in a door frame. Faintly echoing cubism as well as naive American art, Osborn's paintings have an inviting look that suits the tone of the text. Fresh and funny, the book shows Washington in a new light: as a man who could enjoy a joke, even one on himself. Although the tone of the writing is rather erudite for the usual picture-book audience, elementary-school teachers may want to read this aloud for Presidents' Day. Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563979705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563979705
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 10.7 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,124,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I love books! This love affair began when I was small. My grandmother who raised me would read to me every day: fairy tales, comic books, and wonderful picture books like Caps for Sale and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. I soon discovered that books were the world's best teachers and entertainers. So, naturally, I grew up wanting to spend my life working with books.

When it came time to pick a profession, I decided to study law (which doesn't involve the kind of books I like). I was well into my university course work to prepare me for law school when something happened that changed my plans. At the time, I was working for an automobile dealer in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the service manager asked me to deliver a car to a customer at a nearby elementary school. The second I walked through the school doors, I was flooded with the strangest feelings. I remembered my favorite books and my magical childhood years. The next day I changed my major to education. Since then, I've completed several degrees, all of them relating to reading, children's literature, and teaching.

As with many avid readers, I harbored, since childhood, the wish to create my own stories. I wrote off and on when I was young, and then tried my first novel during my middle twenties (it was rejected by twenty or thirty publishers). Then for a number of years, instead of creating stories I channeled my writing efforts into professional educational books and journal articles. All the while, my desire to write books for young readers stayed strong. In the early 1990s, I found my way back to writing stories. My first effort was the manuscript for the picture book Chinook!, which was accepted on my third submission attempt by Tambourine Books (William Morrow).

Because I teach children's literature courses at a university, people sometimes ask if my teaching helps me to be a better writer. After all, I teach my students about children's books, what makes some books "better" than others, and I have, as a part of my professional endeavors, critiqued books for review journals. Therefore, I should know what makes for good writing and what doesn't. However, when I began writing my own books I discovered critiquing someone else's work is an entirely different process than creating your own stories. Perhaps I was simply too close to my own work, which made applying what I thought I knew about quality literature difficult. In any case, I had a lot to learn (and the learning has just begun!) about the creative process. I guess writers are born perhaps more than they are made. (I feel the same way about teachers.) So, part of the challenge has been to find and cultivate any spark of literary creativity with which I might have been blessed.

For more about Michael O. Tunnell, see the following sources:

Something About the Author, volume 103. Edited by Alan Hedblad. The Gale Group, 1999, pp. 168-173.

The Eighth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators. Edited by Connie Rockman. H.W. Wilson, 2000, pp. 529-533.

Something About the Author, volume 157. The Gale Group, 2005, pp. 247-252


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