Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

George Did it

George Did it

Suzanne Tripp Jurmain
Illustrator:  Larry Day 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 10
Penguin, 2005   ISBN: 978-0525475606

George Washington did a great number of very challenging things. He agreed to lead the rough and ready so-called Colonial Army against the British in an effort to win American independence from the British crown. Not only did he lead his untrained and unruly troops but he managed to win the war. Then George agreed to help create a government for the new United States of America; a government that would unite the country and give it structure and the rule of law. One thing that George did not agree to do – at first – was to be named the president of this new country of his.

George has worked hard for many years and now he wanted to relax at his home in Virginia with his family. He wanted to go hunting and to oversee his farm. He most certainly did not want to be the president. Most of all he did not want the enormous responsibility that being the president would entail. The very idea of becoming the president filled poor George with “greater anxiety” than anything that he had done so far.

Alas for poor George, his own feelings and wishes went by the wayside and with great reluctance George agreed to run in the presidential election. He won of course and a very unhappy man left his life in Virginia to begin his new job in New York City.

Young readers will be astonished to discover that the great and famous George Washington did not want to be the president and that he took on the job very reluctantly. They will come to appreciate what a true patriot this good man was for not only did he have to give up the life he craved, but he also has to take up a lifestyle that he did not like at all. He was a simple man with simple tastes and all the pomp and ceremony that went with being the president did not suit him. In addition to learning about George’s life it is fascinating to learn what the early days of the presidency were like and how new and unsure everything was at that time.