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Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World
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Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  107 ratings  ·  31 reviews
A compelling look at two leaders who held the world's fate in their hands-- and the holiday visit that sealed a friendship and steered the course of World War II.

At the height of World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill held an extraordinary month-long visit, during which they planned the success of the Allied powers and strate...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Candlewick
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Karen Witzler
I picked this up for the Moser illustrations. This is a good introduction to FDR and Churchill , revealing their distinct personalities rather than factual information about the war. Strikingly upbeat for the historical period covered. Good intro to WWII for young readers.
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
When we study history, a lot of time we get caught up in the dates and events that happened and pay too little attention to the STORY of what happened. Who were the people involved? What did they say to each other? How did people make decisions? Franklin and Winston is a book that tells the story of a very important meeting between the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill, in 1941.

At the height of World War II, only a few...more
This is a beautiful picture book. The watercolors are amazing but every now and then I would get the suspicion that the face of FDR in several illustrations was from the same photo. The cover bears the iconic images of FDR and Churchill (both with their tobacco habits prominent) divided by a red band. It's very striking.
I'm never quite sure who the target audience is for books like this, both informative but lightweight - like a children's version of a coffee table book. It covers an important m...more
Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World is a nominee for the 2013-2014 South Carolina Children's Book Award.

I'm usually not one for reading much nonfiction, but when I do, I gravitate toward history books that deal with the 1920s through World War II. That period of time showed the best and worst of humanity, and I think it's fascinating. This book only added to my fascination.

The book I just finished reading, Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World, tells of th...more
By the Christmas of 1941, the United States has just entered WWII after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This picture book biography describes a crucial meeting of the two world leaders, Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, during that December. Young readers will enjoy reading about the playful nature, shared bonds, and determination of the two men. The author focuses on the human side to these very different individuals rather than describing their policy meetings. An afterword...more
Picture book for middle grades and up. Beautiful illustrated book about the Christmas that Churchill spent at the White House at the beginning of World War II. Particularly good for middle school students, but intermediate students at my school are highly interested in World War II right now. I can't find enough books for them right now. This visit is particularly fascinating as these two powerful men met together for a holiday and celebrated quietly while planning a defense of two horrendous in...more
Oct 14, 2011 Joan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history students or admirers of either man.
The audience and the format of the book are at odds with each other. A picture book usually implies a younger audience, but this is fairly sophisticated history, probably best understood by grade 5 or older. As another reviewer remarked, the point of the meeting and the results from it, are not clear until the afterword is read. The story is told with enthusiasm but what makes this book stand out are Moser's illustrations. The book works, but only if an older child picked up a "baby's" book and...more
Good story to understand the relationship between these 2 men. Not so many historical facts.
Having done a thesis on the Special Relationship between the United State and Great Britain, I obviously have a soft spot for these two men. Douglas Wood has done a surprisingly good job capturing the essence of these great leaders, their motivations, and their grand alliance. Through the lens of Christmas 1941 which Churchill spent at the White House with Roosevelt, Wood takes us through the various decisions, crises, and issues boiled down, so a child can understand. I'd love to see this book...more
Dec 21, 2013 Judy added it
In picture book format, this book tells the story of the historic meeting of FDR and Churchill at the White House at Christmastime 1941, right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Together they forged a military alliance between Great Britain and the US to fight against the Nazi's, crafted a charter for the United Nations, and planned the movements of what would become WWII.
Beautifully told and illustrated, this picture book suffers from one -- unfortunately common and difficult to avoid -- flaw: it oversimplifies the Allied leaders, the circumstances they faced, and their actions in a way that verges on historical dishonesty. As part of a more complete selection of readings on World War II, this is a valuable story; alone, it's little more than an idealization.
Such a fascinating look into Winston Churchill’s extended stay at the White House during December of 1941; when he and Roosevelt began the strategizing of World War II and each nation’s role in the Allied Powers. I loved how the narration and fantastic illustrations work together to humanize these larger than life leaders during this tumultuous turning point in World History.
All I can say is Bravo! This is a good marriage of text and illustrations. Barry Moser's illustrations are superb, Douglas Wood's text captures I believe the essence of the Franklin & Churchill’s relationship. Wood covers both Franklin’s & Churchill’s key elements through their lives including the tribulations.
While the 1941 Christmas visit between Churchill and Roosevelt was an historical meeting, I'm not sure the importance of what the two leaders accomplished comes across in this book until you read the author's end notes. Too many mentions of meals and baths, not enough history.
Teresa Garrett
I found this book interesting but I doubt it will be popular among my students. I think it would be a good addition to a unit of study about WWII. I doubt many elementary students will have the background knowledge to really appreciate this footnote to history.
Lin Lin
Dec 20, 2011 Lin Lin added it
Shelves: peace
This book is about Prime Minister Churchill coming to spend his Christmas at the White House with President Roosevelt in 1941 . Mr. Churchill addressed the Congress of the United States before the two countries established the military alliance in WWII.
This book is wonderfully awful. It is at constant odds with itself. The only redeeming quality is the lovely, whole page illustration of Winston Churchill wearing nothing but a bath towel. That will really grab the kid’s attention!
While this book is not for the young picture-book set, it is an insightful introduction to two great men and what they accomplished in December 1941. Recommended for kids 9 and up.
Illustrations are wonderful. Story includes memorable quotes from both men. Not a general book of Christmas but a reminder of a significant period at that Christmas time.
Andrea Moore
I enjoyed this book because it ties well to our SS standards and World War II unit. It has a great message of friendship and determination of these two phenomenal world leaders.
Great for 5th grade US History or 8th grade.
It would be terrific to find pictures online or in other non-fiction books of the visit.
Myra Gibson
A book that will open up our understanding of two of the big three Allied power leaders.
A definite use in our study of World War II.
An engaging story of friendship and leadership of two great leaders. The illustrations are amazing.
Mary Beth
Absolutely delightful! It had great illustrations and told an informative, yet engaging story.
I found the illustration lush and vibrant. A great way to introduce history to kids.
Cute story. Love reading about both of these politicians.
Really loved the illustrations in this book.
Mary Lee
Eminently readable. Both men, very likable.
Yoo Kyung Sung
It will be useful for textset on WW II.
Edward Sullivan
See my forthcoming review in Kirkus.
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Composer, recording artist, wilderness guide, and self-taught naturalist-Douglas Wood is perhaps most widely known as the highly acclaimed author of OLD TURTLE, a 1993 ABBY Award winner and an International Reading Association Book of the Year. Author of several books for readers of all ages, Douglas says he is always seeking themes that are universally significant to both children and adults. His...more
More about Douglas Wood...
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