Reading and traveling are two passions that I share with my seven-year-old daughter. Books, pamphlets, maps, magazines, newspapers, menus. Traveling a half-hour to the museum or across the ocean with our backpacks. My work as an elementary school Reading Specialist has naturally evolved into how I travel and read as a parent. Book recommendations will be given. Dialogue about learning to read and how to encourage the habits of lifelong readers is welcome.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

"The George Washington Power Wolf Club:" A Search for Authenticity and Weird Facts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Philly's Independence Mall

During recess, some of the kids in Sylvia’s class form clubs and run around and chase each other with loose narratives and roles that seem to play themselves out pretty quickly. The GWPW club started last year and fed a curiousity about the first president when we drove down south en route to picking up our puppy in North Carolina. GW seems to have slept here, there, and everywhere – and we found many a cabin, statue, and postcard to support that old saying.

Recently, GW has emerged again as a figure of interest, and when Sylvia was perusing the Metropolitan Museum's website and discovered that "George Washington Crossing the Delaware" by Emanuel Gottlie Leutze hung on the museum walls in the American Wing, it became a must see destination. Here's a wonderful interactive feature about the composition of the painting on the Metropolitan's website for kids. Of course, sitting in the room with the painting, its sheer size is especially powerful, and even with apparent historical inaccuracies, feeds a sense of the grandeur of the mission.

Recommended Reading On GW

  • "George Washington's Breakfast" by Jean Fritz, follows a boy's quest for the everyday fact that no one seems to have written about. (Ages 5-8)
  • "Cartoon History of the United States" by Larry Gonick (All Ages)

Entry on Philadelphia to follow.

For Young American Revolutionaries:

  • “Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin,” hardcover book for younger kids, by Gene Barretta

For Ages 5-9:

All of the books in this series seem to be by Bobbie Kalman and various illustrators:

Historic Communities:

  • Tools and Gadgets
  • Colonial Homes
  • The Woodworkers
  • Schoolyard Games


  • "Who Was Ben Franklin?" by Denise Brindell Frader, ill. John O’Brien
  • "If You Lived At the Time of the American Revolution" by Kay Moore, Illustrated, Daniel O’Leary
  • "If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution" by Elizabeth Levy, ill. Joan Holme

Jean Fritz:

  • "Will You Sign Here, John Hancock?"
  • "Shhh! We’re Writing the Constitution"
  • "Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George?" with ill. by the one and only Tomie DePaola


Painter of Blue said...

The Met interactive website is really great! Thanks for pointing it out. I'm also going to pick up the cartoon history of the United States.

Happy New Year!

daddio said...

Larry Gonick totally rocks! I am working my way thru history with him, and enjoying it to boot. Chek his work out at

lobster costume said...

The Met interactive website is really great! Thanks for pointing it out. I'm also going to pick up the cartoon history of the United States