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Farmer George Plants a Nation

Ages: 8 and up
Pages: 40
List Price: $17.95
Cover: Hardcover
Published: 2/1/2008
ISBN: 1-59078-460-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-59078-460-0
George Washington as he’s rarely seen. Besides being a general and the first president of the United States, George Washington was also a farmer. His efforts to create a selfsufficient farm at Mount Vernon, Virginia, mirrored his struggle to form a new nation. Excerpts from Washington’s writings are featured throughout the book, which also includes a timeline, resource section, as well as essays on Washington at Mount Vernon and his thoughts on slavery. Both illustrator and author worked closely with the staff of Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens to render an accurate portrait of Farmer George at work. Check out this video trailer.

Awards

  • Nominated for 2010-2011 Young Hoosier Book Award
  • Ohio Farm Bureau's Children's Book Award
  • A Nebraska Farm Bureau Children's Agriculture Book of the Year
  • A Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Book of the Year
  • NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book
  • SLJ Best Books ---School Library Journal

Reviews

Starred review "This picture-book biography focuses on George Washington’s life as a farmer, inventor, and scientist; however, the author also draws many parallels between his role as farmer and as leader. ... Thomas’s enthusiasm for her subject is evident in her storytelling-style text. She not only used primary sources in her research, but also included several quotes from Washington’s diaries and letters. ... Johnson’s oil paintings support the text while adding a feel of the 18th century. The balanced placement allows both the art and narrative to shine. ... Students will find this title useful for reports, but will also find it a great nonfiction read."
     —School Library Journal

"Thomas (Joshua the Giant Frog) and Johnson (Remembering Grandpa) depict George Washington as a forward-thinking farmer dedicated to making Mount Vernon a self-sufficient, profitable plantation. ... Thomas's history is extremely detailed, full of facts that bring the 18th-century farm to life. ... Johnson's representational paintings, all of them flattering, incorporate symbols like bald eagles but also illuminate the workings of the plantation; a cutaway view of the 16-sided barn is especially helpful. A useful look at a lesser-known aspect of Washington's achievements."
     —Publishers Weekly

"A pleasing new picture book looks at George Washington's career through an agricultural lens. Thomas integrates Washington's military and political adventures into her account, making clear that it was his frustration as a farmer that caused him to join the revolutionary cause."
     —Kirkus Reviews

Here's what Publishers Weekly says about Peggy Thomas' Farmer George Plants a Nation in its February 4, 2008 issue:

"Thomas's history is extremely detailed, full of facts that bring the 18th-century farm to life. ... Johnson's representational paintings, all of them flattering, incorporate symbols like bald eagles but also illuminate the workings of the plantation; a cutaway view of the 16-sided barn is especially helpful. A useful look at a lesser-known aspect of Washington's achievements."

In its March 2008 issue, School Library Journal awards Farmer George Plants a Nation with a starred review:

"This picture-book biography focuses on George Washington’s life as a farmer, inventor, and scientist... Thomas’s enthusiasm for her subject is evident in her storytelling-style text. She not only used primary sources in her research, but also included several quotes from Washington’s diaries and letters. ... Johnson’s oil paintings support the text while adding a feel of the 18th century. The balanced placement allows both the art and narrative to shine. ... Students will find this title useful for reports, but will also find it a great nonfiction read."

Farmer George Plants a Nation receives its second starred review. This starred review appears in the April/May issue of Library Media Connection:

"Exquisite artwork makes the pages pop. Realistic oils depict the Colonial era with fine details. ...The various perspectives including the fish-eye effect provide added visual interest. ...This attractive picture book for older readers should be included in library collections because of its unusual treatment of George's lifetime achievements. Highly Recommended."

Kirkus Reviews praises Peggy Thomas’ Farmer George Plants a Nation in its January 1, 2008 issue:

“A pleasing new picture book looks at George Washington's career through an agricultural lens. Thomas integrates Washington's military and political adventures into her account, making clear that it was his frustration as a farmer that caused him to join the revolutionary cause."