Dolley Madison, the White House, and the Big Tornado Trade Book (Hardcover)
Written ByWiley Blevins, Alice Boynton
Illustrated byMassimiliano Di Lauro
Many people know the story of Dolley Madison, one of the first First Ladies to live in the White House, and how she saved the famous painting of George Washington as the British attacked and burned Washington, D. C. But few know what happened next. With the U.S. soldiers in retreat and Dolley fleeing, what drove the British soldiers out of the city they were intent on destroying? Was it really a tornado? Or was it something else?
Alice Boynton loves history. For her reading about people and events from the past is not just interesting, it's exciting—especially when she can find out what happened from the words of the people who were on the scene at the time. Alice hopes to bring to her readers the excitement of being an eyewitness to history.
Wiley Blevins is a writer living in New York City. He has written many nonfiction books for children as well as books for teachers on how to teach nonfiction text structures and features. Wiley's other books include Sunday with Savta and Trevor Lee and the Big Uh-Oh.
Massimiliano Di Lauro
Massimiliano Di Lauro is an award-winning Italian illustrator based in Puglia, Italy. He has published children's books and worked in animation.
★ Boynton and Blevins chronicle the events preceding and immediately following Dolley Madison’s famous rescue of George Washington’s portrait from the burning of the White House. The book opens at dawn on August 24, 1814, as the British prepare to launch their attack on Washington, DC. When it becomes clear that it is no longer safe to remain in the White House, Madison orders the painting be removed for safekeeping. What follows is the destruction of the country’s capital, and ultimately, a violent thunderstorm that limits the spread of the flames. Alternating spreads offer the perspective of the Americans in the city, followed by the British army. Di Lauro’s striking illustrations portray the American point of view primarily in shades of blue, while the British outlook is a variety of reds…Viewpoints range from Dolley Madison to an American soldier, a British lieutenant, and a young enslaved boy, to name a few. Back matter includes further information about notable figures seen throughout the book as well as facts about the time period. VERDICT A stunningly illustrated exploration of a notable historical event, this is a timely and excellent addition to historical collections.