Dear Mr. Washington

dearmrwashingtonWritten by Lynn Cullen, Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter


When President George Washington goes to the home of the famous artist, Gilbert Stuart, to have his portrait painted, he is accosted by the bad manners of the Stuart children and their pets. He is not amused, yet sends them a book of rules of good behavior for boys and girls. In fact, it is the book he was given as a child. Promising to do better so the President will return (and hopefully get him to smile too) the children practice the rules. But, how long and how many visits will it take? “Based on the true story behind Gilbert Stuart’s famous portraits of George Washington, this funny historical fiction read will leave rascals, ruffians, and troublemakers of all ages laughing.” (inside cover) And what results is a hilarious chain of events, a giant mess…and a painting that will be remembered for centuries to come. This is a humorous story in the form of letters, written by Charlotte, the oldest Stuart daughter. The first letter starts out with the signature, “Sincerely, Charlotte Stuart,” and by the end of the book it is “Love, Charlotte” as the relationship changes. Colorful illustrations are equally humorous and add to the chaos and charm of the story. At the end, there is an author’s note explaining the true events as to Washington’s dour expression. But, Lynn Cullen writes, “I like to imagine the Stuart children having a hand in it.” I am glad she did, so that we can read this delightful story.

Review by Renee Larsen, Hillside Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grade K-3

Dear Mr. Washington
Written by Lynn Cullen, Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Dial Books
32 pages
Release Date: January 8, 2015
ISBN: 0803730381 (hardcover)

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2 thoughts on “Dear Mr. Washington”

  1. Thanks Renee for this review. I must find this book. The kids are always looking for more on Washington, and this sounds fun and informational.

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