Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A wintertime story for young patriots

When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A wintertime story for young patriots

Lynne Cheney
Illustrator:  Peter M. Fiore 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2004   ISBN: 978-0689870439

Things were not going well for the American revolutionary army and its general George Washington. They had been driven out of New York and were in retreat across New Jersey. The Americans were at a great disadvantage as the English were better equipped, greater in number, and more experienced than the local forces.

By early December 1776, the Americans were in Pennsylvania, just across the Delaware River from the English troops and the Hessian (German) soldiers that the English had with them. Being a man who was not willing to just sit back and let things be, General George Washington decided that his forces would cross the Delaware River on Christmas night, when the enemy were busy celebrating, and attack the Hessians at Trenton on December 26th.

It was a fearsome and difficult crossing and the weather was harsh but George Washington’s army succeeded, and early on the morning of the 26th they attacked the Hessians. In just two hours it was all over and American history was changed forever. Heroes were made that day and future presidents led their forces to victory – and it was this victory followed by that in Princeton, New Jersey, which gave the Americans hope that they could prevail in this long conflict.

With quotations from the lips of those who were there on every double page spread, this superbly written book captures the dangers that the American revolutionary forces faced and the courage and wisdom that they showed in defeating their enemies.