BROWN, Don. Henry and the Cannons: An Extraordinary True Story of the American Revolution. illus. by author. 32p. bibliog. Roaring Brook. Jan. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-266-6. LC 2012013450.
Gr 1-4–As the American Revolution was getting underway, George Washington knew he needed cannons to defeat the British. Unfortunately, he was camped outside British-held Boston, and the nearest big guns were 300 miles away at Fort Ticonderoga, New York. They were thought to be impossible to retrieve, until Henry Knox agreed to try. Brown employs a light touch in telling this exciting true story. Moving 120,000 pounds of artillery in winter involved dragging the pieces, sailing, sledding, and even retrieving them from freezing water when the ice broke under their weight. Readers will be fascinated by the various methods employed to keep the cannons moving, including poles, ropes, and chains to help the sleds scale steep heights. Amazingly, Knox and his group arrived without losing a single piece of weaponry. Quotations integrated into the text are not directly attributed, but a bibliography is included. Watercolor illustrations are given weight by black outlines. A palette of blues, whites, and browns reinforces the winter tone. Full spreads interspersed with panels vary the pace and allow for certain images to be spotlighted. A nicely composed three-panel page shows the changing weather (clear to rain to snow) as Knox begins his quest. This entertaining tale will be great to use along with studies of George Washington and the Revolutionary War.–Lucinda
Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher’s School, Richmond, VA