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Big George: How a Shy Boy Became President Washington
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Big George: How a Shy Boy Became President Washington

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
A boy from Virginia becomes the first president

Before he was the face on the dollar bill, George Washington was a shy boy with a hot temper. But George had character and adaptability. He taught himself courage and self-control. At an early age, and without really realizing it, George Washington gathered the qualities he’d need to become one of the greatest leaders America
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published June 30th 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 157)
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Tanya W
Sep 02, 2011 Tanya W rated it really liked it
Great children's book... biography about George Washington. Great way to discuss the time period. I liked the inherent lessons like:
You can have a difficulty or weakness (like shyness) and still accomplish great things.
Being strategic and smart can have positive outcomes.
You can have what seem to be like significant disadvantages and tragedies in life and still leave your mark and be triumphant.

As much as I liked the book, I was not much a fan of the illustrations. George Washington and Ben Fran
Mar 10, 2009 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
George Washington was a tall, shy boy who loved to spend time on his own in the woods. He learned from his half brother to be a Virginia gentleman, and loved to read books about ancient Roman heroes like Cincinnatus. George grew into a man who worked on mapping the colony, loved the outdoors and excelled at sports, but he didn’t like to talk. He could never find the right words unless he was angry. Throughout this fascinating picture book, readers discover Washington’s path to greatness and hist ...more
Sep 09, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers and parents
Recommended to Lisa by: Tanya
A biography of George Washington that is also a picture book is hardly comprehensive, but this book is informative in a way that will entertain young and old readers. The interesting illustrations are very expressive; however, unfortunately most of the expressions are scowls.

This picture may even make your children scowl:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I have always loved reading biographies, and in the third, fourth, and fifth grade I read everyone in the school library.I plan to read this book to my fourth grade grandchild
Feb 23, 2009 Heloyce rated it really liked it
A picture book but with some interesting facts about the life of our first President, George Washington. Although he was shy as a boy, he became a distinguished leader of both the military and the nation. As the book states, "...he worked hard to become a man who was polite and clever, fair and wise, loyal and true." Traits needed then. Traits needed now.
Nov 13, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
I believe this is one of the better written biographies for children that I've read. It was a joy reading it to my own. I would highly recommend classroom teachers reading this in honor of President's Day or during a study of the Revolutionary War. The illustrations are beautiful. My only complaint is that there wasn't enough evidence to support a key part of the title: how a shy boy became President of the U.S. I can see this book as a great lesson on how we can be anything we wish, no matter o ...more
Sep 23, 2015 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an informative and entertaining biography about George Washington. The narrative is not overly detailed, but is really engaging and we all learned something new about our first President.

Even though we live relatively close to Mount Vernon and have learned a lot about Virginia history, we were surprised at the fact that he was so shy, that he had a temper, and that he studied a book of manners because "He understood that good manners could hide his shyness." (p. 4)

The pencil and gouache
Jun 16, 2014 Shelli rated it really liked it
This is a fun picture book about the life of George Washington, from life in the colonies to fathering our Nation’s new democracy. Big George is a wonderful book to share with elementary age students when covering Colonial Times, the American Revolution or just for the love of learning.
love this book. follows george washington's life from a shy young boy to a tall, strong young soldier to the great president he became. great for walking through the am rev war highlights and better understanding franklin and george's role in the nation's beginning.
Sam Bloom
Apr 09, 2009 Sam Bloom rated it really liked it
Very informative look at good old G.W.'s pre-Father of the Country/1st president years. Who knew he had a nasty temper, or that he was such a looker that all the girls around his Virginia home wanted to dance with him at the balls? Not I. An enjoyable biography.
Anne Broyles
Jun 02, 2009 Anne Broyles rated it really liked it
Biography/history/showing a different side than many young readers will know of the first president. I found the cover art slightly scary--it reminded me of Heathcliff or a haunted 19th-century composer, but I liked the inside art.
Oct 18, 2009 Paige rated it really liked it
good information (I hope) on Washington in a format that would not loose children or adults. :)
Feb 04, 2009 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: youth-nonfiction
A solid intro biography. But why are all the people frowning in the illustrations?
Jul 08, 2009 Shaneen rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I was surprised at how much information could be in a picture book.
Sara K.
Great picture book about one of our favorite Virginians!
We are major G.W. fans! And we really enjoy this book, however there are some things in it that bother me greatly, and so in my copy I have modified these things.

Be mindful of the de-emphasis of God's protection over Washington on the pages following the crossing of the Delaware, and the hint of feminism on the back page note.

On these pages discussing his "luck" during Braddock's defeat and his immunity to smallpox, it seems to be written as an attempt to belittle the providential hand of God i
Rhonda K
Feb 20, 2016 Rhonda K rated it it was amazing
This is one of our favorite biographies for young people. It offers a nice blend of fact and some of the more entertaining aspects of Washington's life and personality. It's strong on sense of duty and offers a look at a couple military campaigns too (Braddock's Defeat, Yorktown) as well as Valley Forge. Beautiful artwork! For first graders and up.
Mar 26, 2014 Natalie rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, nonfiction
I like how this book gives readers a glimpse into George Washington's younger years as well as his journey to becoming president. I'll use this book after teaching about the American Revolution with my fifth graders.
Nevada Libert
Jun 30, 2014 Nevada Libert rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
amazing book about george i love what he did for our country.
Apr 01, 2015 Vivian rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies

Join Anne and Matt have combined creative forces to introduce young children to George Washington in this large picture book format. Don't be surprised if you learn a thing or two yourself! The book inspires a myriad of webbing activities. After reading this account you and your child (or class) could learn about Cincinnatus, a Roman farmer and leader, for instance. Develop a list of skills to acquire. On George's list were penmanship, manners, memorization, riding horseback, fencing, and much m
Javier Campero
Dec 01, 2015 Javier Campero rated it really liked it
Great read, a portrait of George Washington that children will love
Mar 12, 2013 Sarahfnm rated it it was ok
This was just "OK."

I thought that Washington's early life was interesting, but it just seemed missing a lot of information. I have visited his beloved plantation and just can't get the fact out of my mind that he was a slaveholder. Nothing of the sort was mentioned in this biography.

The biography made it seem like he was a tall and handsome man, and while it really focused on these facts, it's not something that I associate with President Washington.

Feb 06, 2013 Stacey rated it liked it
According to the title, ‘How a shy boy became President Washington.’ Which is exactly what this book is, the bare bones of George Washington’s life.
This book wasn’t anything special, by the time you’ve gotten through high school you’ve read and heard every fact in here a couple of times. So I realized, of course, that the book was accurate in its facts and could be very interesting to someone who is just learning the facts about the first president.
Feb 06, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-books
Thhis is a good biography book on George Washington. It talks about what happened when he was younger and goes throughout his whole life. It gives really good information. However, it tends to get a ltitle long when reading. It is a good children's book to read to children who are in the upper grades in elementary school.
This is an excellent book that gives real insight into why Washington was so important to the beginnings of the United States of America. Truly fantastic and highly recommended.
May 18, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Fantastic children's picture book that gives a brief telling of the life of G.Washington. Informative but not so long that it's not fun to read to the kids.
May 31, 2012 Leslie rated it liked it
Before he became president, George Washington was a general. This children's book focuses on that aspecy of George's past. A kid-friendly read.
Dec 23, 2013 Pauline rated it really liked it
Fascinating background about our first president. Excellent illustrations!
The author describes how a shy young boy grew to become one of the most powerful figures in American history.
Excellent!!! Very readable; we learned an awful lot and enjoyed the whole thing!!!
Apr 06, 2011 Karyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: presidents
An excellent biography of George Washington. A little long for young children.
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