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George Washington's Teeth

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  663 ratings  ·  113 reviews
From battling toothaches while fighting the British to having rotten teeth removed by his dentists, the Father of His Country suffered all his life with tooth problems. Yet contrary to popular belief, George Washington never had a set of wooden teeth. Starting at the age of twenty-four, he lost on average a tooth a year, and by the time he was elected President, he had onl ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 3rd 2003 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published 2003)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  663 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I had no idea that George Washington really had so many issues with his teeth! I originally picked this up for one of my read's for my kids in honor of President's Day. It looked cute and thought it might peek the curiosity of my 5 yr old. He asked if it was true when we were finished, and it was then that I found the actual documented GW teeth history in the back of the book! Not only did I know nothing about this, it was fascinating! To me and my son! And the book chronicles the issues of losi ...more
CH13_ Helen Budeyskaya
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: info-bios
This book was very amussing to read. I think it would be a great choice to use during a President's day theme for younger kids. Students will enjoy reading this humerous book, with many colorful illustrations. The illustrations do a great job showing what is happening and sequencing the events. In addition, the book does rhyme; therefore students will enjoy putting the story together.

I would not read this book for too many facts. It is a light-hearted book that could be used during a presidents
Heather Dunbar
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was very informational, and even has a timeline in the back! While this book wasn’t terribly exciting and fun, it was definitely easier to read than any textbook I’ve ever seen. I think it would make a great supplemental book for a history class, or for a child that’s mildly interested in the past. Overall, a good book.
Carol Evans
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is based on Washington's diaries and letters, which chronicled his tooth probleams. My daughter, 8, thought this rhyming book was hilarious and she's right. Funny with history thrown in is perfect for kids. There is a time-line in the back that gives even more information. ...more
Jennifer Daniel
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I know it's a kids book, but the end of the book had a serious time line of President Washington's dental problems. Poor man! Most people can't function with 1 sore tooth & he won a war, started a new nation & served as president with a mouthful of rot. ...more
Kate Hastings
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: K-4
Shelves: nonfiction
Fun book to read for Presidents Day or any day! Washington actually recorded the loss of his teeth in his journal! Funny stuff.
I checked this out when my Grandson had to read a non-fiction history based book for third grade. He wanted "something short" lol, and this fit the bill. It was also quite entertaining and covered a fair amount of history while dealing with Washington's teeth problems. There's a timeline at the back that fleshes out his life even more. This book might make a good introduction to a primary level study of Washington or the Revolution. (The reading level is about 3rd grade.) ...more
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
George Washington's teeth is based on letters, diaries, and other historical documents to recall George Washington's struggle with dental hygiene. This book shows Washington's battle with keeping his teeth in a hilarious way that gets students laughing while learning about key characteristics of Washington such as loyalty, bravery, and a strong work ethic. In the end, the book debunks the myth that Washington had wooden teeth. ...more
Scott Volz
Feb 29, 2012 rated it liked it
George Washington's dental dillemas are presented in rhyming verse in this picture book by Deborah Chandra and Madeline Comora. Though the general thrust of the book follows documented history--the authors provide a detailed chronology of Washington's teeth troubles in the back of the book--there is a degree of play and looseness with character and situation.

If you want a fun, fast-paced picture book about George Washington, this book might be a winner. If you want a history lesson in picture-b
Apr 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What a cute book, but poor George Washington. Andrew and I just finished a Magic Tree House book about the Revolutionary War so I thought this would be a good to build off of. Really, the poor Father of Our Country had major problems with his teeth and was in pain a lot. This book is written in rhyme which made a boring topic (to a 7 year old) interesting.
A good primer for Washington's teeth struggles, although I wonder if it were published more recently, it would elaborate more on the human teeth used for his dentures (aka, from slaves.) ...more
Cassandra Gelvin
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I cannot tell a lie. But this book can.

This book is very strange. It's published as a fiction book, which makes sense as it doesn't follow the timeline at the end. In rhyme, George Washington loses his teeth over time, incorporating real events but rather out of order. And the ending of the book just isn't realistic. When he gets his first full set of dentures, it immediately pulls out his last tooth. And when he gets his second, custom, pair of false teeth after losing all of his original teeth
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite read-alouds of all-time, George Washington's Teeth stashes an incredible number of historically accurate facts and events into a rollicking tale of dental woe, all while rhyming. From cover and title page to back cover, the book employs a wry, whimsical sense of humor that shines forth on nearly every page. The first few pages toss readers headlong into events (I never quite understand why writers do this- inadequate space to introduce their characters?) but readers catch up q ...more
Meghann Sniffen
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Awards the book has received (if any); Best Children's Book of the Year
Appropriate grade level(s); second- third
Original 3-line summary; This book is a funny story about our very first President George Washington. It talks about not his Presidency, but his teeth and the history behind them. By using letters, and responses from George Washington he tells a whole other story about his early stages of losing his teeth.
Original 3-line review: This book is really cute, and an interesting way to get
Edward Sojuwa
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
George Washington's Teeth is a poem based, loosely, on a period in American History nobody has interest in except as possibilities for humor we make up about American politics getting, um, long in the tooth, etc. The poem, really, is as wooden as it's subject, namely the teeth Georgie had to wear since the Revolutionary War made him nervous enough to lose every one of his pretty whites. It's comparable to the classic rhyme about Paul Revere: it's that dreary and rhetorical. I mean, why do a poem ...more
Emily Scanlon
Book Level: 3.6

Summary: Through humorous poetry, this book tells the story of George Washington and his rotten teeth. At the end of the book, the author provides a detailed timeline of actual events leading up to George Washington’s toothless smile.

Writing Trait: Organization – During the revision stage of the writing process, this mentor text can be utilized to give students ideas for how they may strengthen the framework of their writing. The events in this story are chronological in order wh
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was one of the 6 books on our "President's Day" reading table. The kiddos rolled a foam die to decide which book was read; we went back and forth between reading the books and watching the PBS "60-second presidents" videos.
This book was super engaging for the kids that heard it, and included details that I knew little about. The rhyming is fun and helps lighten the gory/yucky reality of Washington losing his teeth one or two at a time. Blech! I plan to bring this one home for my own younge
Mackenzie Ezell
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite children's informational books that I have taught in classes before. It goes through the life of George Washington and tells all about his struggles with his health and his teeth, because he had many issues with infections, fake teeth, and not smiling so people wouldn't thin k he was weak. This book is so informative and has great illustrations in it to make it interesting to read, and also includes a full and detailed timeline of his life with the important d ...more
Luisa Knight
This is a great book for the littles! Lively illustrations, rhyming prose and just the type of facts that kids enjoy. And not too long either. This book will stick!

Ages: 4 - 8

Cleanliness: George falls on his "fanny."

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before r
I had no idea that it was this rough for the Father of our Country--no wonder he looks so very grumpy in his portraits! I would look grumpy too if I was eating tripe and losing my teeth left and right and worried that the enemy would discover this little fact and mock me for it! Poor George. Tough George to go through all this and still kick British bum.
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We are headed to Washington DC and I wanted to read a few historical picture books with my kids, 4 and 7. This is the perfect book. Amusing and relatable story about how Washington lost all his teeth during key periods of our nation's history. And it's all sourced in historical documents, with a big timeline at the back! ...more
I thought this account was fictionalized, but the detailed dental history in the back shows that it's all true. It sounds absolutely miserable. From the history in the back: "George's account books show that between the years 1772 and 1792 the [household bills] amounted to $100 per year. By comparison, George's dental bills were $1,000 per year." ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book tells the story of George Washington's life from the time he lost his teeth. My kids thought it was funny and didn't realize I was sneaking in a history lesson!

11 other patriotic picture books:
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Goodreads has a synopsis for this book: "A tongue-in-cheek dental history of our first President." What more needs to be said?

This was really funny, and informative, and all around a neat story. It is told in rhyme. I just with the illustrations would have been a little sharper.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! I read it to my 5th graders every year. It's just fascinating! ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Good picture book of the struggles that our First President had with his teeth. These kinds of personal biographies make history come alive and our heros become more real.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
President's Day Storytime- 1st grade ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My students really enjoyed hearing me read aloud this book.
What a fun book! The illustrations and rhymes are engaging. Love it!
Kaylynn Johnsen
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid
This rhyming story tells the true account of George Washington's teeth. Told in a kids friendly way based on historical evidence. ...more
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