The American Library Association
Child Study Association
National Council of Teachers of Social Studies
"He was born in a little red brick house that his father had built on the oyster-shell hill. By that time so much land had been cleared that the wilderness was far in the distance."
So begins the simple and inauspicious life of George Washington, a backwoods Virginia boy destined to become the Father of His Country. Meticulously researched, the d'Aulaires hiked and camped all over Virginia as they imbibed the spirit of this great man.
The story follows his growth from young boy to surveyor, to soldier in the French and Indian War where he became a war hero. Then George courted Martha Custis and after their marriage they built a plantation at Mount Vernon. Then we see Washington lead his troops through the dark and hungry days of the Revolution. By exhibiting courage and integrity he inspired the same in his men. Beautiful stone lithograph illustrations bring the story to life for readers young and old.
About the Authors:
Ingri Mortenson and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire met in Munich where both were studying art in the 1920's. Ingri had grown up in Norway; Edgar, the son of a noted portrait painter, was born in Switzerland and had lived in Paris and Florence. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to the United States and began to create the picture books that have established their reputation for unique craftsmanship. Their books were known for their vivid lasting color. a result of the pain-staking process of stone lithography used for all their American history biographies. This was an old world craft in which they were both expert, which involved actually tracing their images on large slabs of Bavarian limestone.
Throughout their long careers, Ingri and Edgar worked as a team on both art and text. Their research took them to the actual places of their biographies, including the countries of Italy, Portugal and Spain when they were researching Columbus; to the hills of Virginia while they researched George Washington; and to the wilds of Kentucky and Illinois for Abraham Lincoln, winner of the Caldecott Medal. The fact that they spoke 5 languages fluently served them well in their European travels and in their research of original documents. Since their deaths in the 1980's, Ingri and Edgar's books and works have been kept alive by their two sons Ola and Nils.