Thursday, February 12, 2015

George Washington's Teeth

George Washington's Teeth, by Deborah Chandra & Madeleine Comora
I have been having so much fun reading this book.  Whenever there is any down time, I just pop a book out of my sub bag, and I have the class back in the palm of my hand.    George Washington's Teeth is a book that engages all students!  

The book starts during the American Revolution.  Washington won the war against the British, but lost the war on his teeth.  He kept losing tooth after tooth during the war.  I love how the authors chose to write the book using poetry.  It was hard for me to chose a section to share because they are all wonderful!  But here is one taking place during the winter of Valley Forge.

Snow fell on George at Valley Forge,
His blue coat hung in tatters.
By then he'd only seven teeth
That couldn't even chatter!  

Yet bravely George led forth his men,
Coat and pigtail flying.
While cannons boomed he held his jaw
I love how the authors chose to write the
And groaned, "I think I'm dying!"  

They are truly gifted writers because is it fun, engaging, and doesn't seemed forced.  Unlike a certain Katie Couric children's book...  

The rest of the book is filled smart language, ingenious form, and a wonderful countdown of teeth until, yes, George had none.  I read this to fifth and first graders, and they equally enjoyed the book!  

The end of the book includes a timeline of important events in Washington's life.  It includes complaints and requests from Washington's diaries and letters.  It is really interesting! 

I highly recommend this book!  

Just in case you wanted to see some of his teeth--they have them on display in Mount Vernon.  

George Washington's Teeth

Washington's teeth were carved from human teeth, hippo tusks, pig's teeth, and embedded in lead.
Here are some examples of his false teeth.

Gilbert Stuart, an artist, has George stuff his mouth and cheeks with cotton balls for his portrait.