Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Those Rebels, John and Tom by Barbara Kerley

Those Rebels, John and Tom 
by Barbara Kerley
illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
Picture Book

Book Jacket Summary
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were very different.

John Adams was short and stout.
Thomas Jefferson was tall and lean.

John was argumentative and blunt.
Tom was soft-spoken and polite.

John sometimes got along with almost no one.
Tom got along with just about everyone.

But these two very different gentlemen did have two things in common: They both cared deeply about the American colonies, and neither cared much for the British tyrant, King George.

With their signature wit, impeccable research, and inventive presentation style, award winners Barbara Kerley and Edwin Fotheringham masterfully blend biography and history to create a brilliant portrait of two American heroes who bravely set aside their differences to join forces in the fight for our country’s freedom.

My Thoughts
While Worst of Friends by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain focuses on the breaking up of the friendship of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, Those Rebels, John and Tom focuses on the start of their friendship. It was interesting reading about their friendship out of order but it also made the start of their friendship bittersweet. The author does place an author's note at the end and explains about the break up of their friendship but also their reconciliation.
Johna and Tom were almost polar opposites in stature, height, expression, and background but that did not stop them from becoming friends. They helped form The United States of America and together helped the Congress decide to fight for their freedom. John would argue the case with the spoken word and Tom with the written word.
The illustrations feel very cartoonish, like they were straight out of a political cartoon. I do like the effect and really like Fotheringham's style. This book would be wonderful for a fourth of July display and pairing it with Worst of Friends would make an interesting story time for the older children.

Book Pairings
Worst of Friends by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain
Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman
George Did Itby


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