I combed through Susanna Leonard Hill‘s nonfiction picture books and couldn’t believe “Worst of Friends” hadn’t been reviewed! So here goes…
“Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the best of friends, even though they were completely different.”
They shared similar ideas about how the thirteen colonies should become a nation—until they stopped seeing eye to eye on the powers granted the president. Thus begins a legendary feud between the Federalist Party and the Republican Party.
What happens to their friendship? Well, I guess you just have to read the book if you don’t know.
The illustrations, including George Washington eating dinner calmly between JA and TJ while they argue, should bring smiles to children’s (and adults’) faces.
And the ending? Well, the truth rivals anything a fiction writer could ever dream up. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams die on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th birthday of America’s independence.
I love this story. It makes me cry every time I read it. Sniffle….
The extensive bibliography will guide children’s further research into the lives of these two men, and its hilarious foreword titled: “Can Presidents be Pals?” should pull readers into the story. It’s appropriate for grades K-5.
Themes: U.S. History. Friends who are very different can work together. It’s good to extend an olive branch to a friend before it’s too late.TItle: Worst of Friends Author: Suzanne Tripp Jurmain Illustrator: Larry Day Pub date: 2011 Publisher: Dutton, a division of Penguin
32 thoughts on “Worst of Friends – Perfect Picture Book Friday”
The cover is great so I can only imagine how creative the illustrations inside must be.
Yes, there are some very funny moments. The illustrator must have had a blast creating the drawings.
I think it’s a great way to help kids “inhabit” those times and empathize with how these two men must have felt about their friendship and enormous disagreement.
Do you sketch? I know your son does so perhaps he got his talents from you, I wonder.
I draw a little, but my husband is the artist. He and our son can draw rings around me. 😀
An artistic family- lovely 🙂
Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll have to check it out for my nephew. 🙂
Yes! My 11-yr-old son thinks it’s quite funny. And he actually learned something while he was laughing.
Knowing almost no American history, you’ve left me on a cliffhanger ending here! What happens?? Why do you always sniffle?? I need to know…
Here’s the mini-series that you could watch. It is excellent.
Thanks, I shall look out for it – it’s bound to turn up on one of the 5,000,000 TV channels I never get around to watching. Meantime, I read him up on wiki – yes, quite a sniffle-worthy story indeed. I wonder if Clinton and Dubya correspond? 😉
The foreword to the book mentions that GW called Bill Clinton a real “friend.” So they probably maintain some form of correspondence. Other presidents have not had such chummy relationships. In another quote from the foreword: “President Truman once called Richard Nixon a “shifty-eyed…liar.” Ha! 😀
I was going to mention this series too! Look forward to reading this book. Thanks!
Yes, the series is quite good, isn’t it?
I think you’ll enjoy the book. Thanks for stopping by!
I just found out about this book last week, but haven’t read it. Thank-you! One can never have too much John Adams!
Oh, I think you will like it. Get thee to the library! 😀
Thanks for stopping by!
My kind of book. Had not heard of this book before your review. I loved both characters and I imagine they found a way to become friends. Will have to read it to find out.
Please do! It’s a great story. Thanks for stopping by!
As a history buff, I’m gone. Gone to the library, that is! 😉
Oh, Erik, it is great fun. I think you would love the illustrations and the story. Check it out, literally. 😀
Interesting book! I wasn’t into history when back at school although I knew about Thomas Jefferson. Must look this up and see if our library has it. Thanks. Great review!
Yes, I wasn’t a history buff, either, as a kid. I think it was because all of the history for children wasn’t as well written and researched as it is now. I’m loving these “new gen” history books! Thanks for stopping by!
they were the best of friends, the worst of friends…. like any good friends. I am definitely putting this on my “read now” list.
Yay! Yes, like any good friends, although more high profile than most. 😀
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the book.
I was a fan of John Adams before It was cool. This might be a good way to pass on my Adams admiration to the next Allegra generation…
Yes, yes, yes!! Just leave the book lying on the floor of his room in a pile of Lego. He can find it like buried treasure. 😀
I like your thinking. I also wanna introduce my little guy to the musical 1776.
Sounds like a great book — another one for me to search for to have my son read. BTW, I was able to find Nurse, Soldier, Spy. I have to get it from another library — our local library didn’t have it, gasp! I’ll let you know how we like it!
Cool! You can also ask to have your library buy the book. I find the library here very open to suggestions.
Hope you and your son like it!
John Adams was just one of those guys who bumped heads into various people through out his life. He and Ben Franklin didn’t see eye to eye on many things as well.
This sounds like a book for me to read, though your comment about making you cry surprised me as I wasn’t expecting a tear jerker from this title.
It’s the circumstances of both their deaths that’s the kicker for me. Uncanny.
Thanks for reviewing this book, Jill! I had never heard of it and am definitely going to get it for our library. I LOVED the mini-series.
Oh, you will love it! I promise! It’s soooo good to hear from you!