Perfect Picture Book Friday/Those Rebels John and Tom

Hi Friends!

What a summer! Can you believe it’s over? So soon!

I hope all of you had a blast. I stalked some of your sites while on my break: especially on Susanna Leonard Hill’s Fourth of July Mystery Contest! I was so impressed with the talent!

I know I couldn’t hold a candle to those wonderful winners. Congrats to all who entered!

Here is a gift for my writer friends!

Julie shares her love of picture books:

*********And my special interview by Val Muller   **********

Now for the reason we’re here! Perfect Picture Book Friday! *YAY*

Those Rebels John and Tom

Those Rebels John and Tom

Title: Those Rebels, John and Tom

Author/Illustrator: Barbara Kerley and illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

Published by: Scholastic Press in 2012 / nonfiction

Resources: From scholastic :

For teachers exploring the classroom core standards: :,_John_and_Tom.html


First sentences: When John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were young, they were very different. John skipped school to fly kites and shoot marbles. He loved swimming, hunting, wrestling—and the occasional boxing match, just for kicks. Tom didn’t skip school. He skipped recess – to study Greek grammar.

From the Jacket: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were very different. John was short and stout. Tom was tall and lean. John was argumentative and blunt. Tom was soft-spoken and polite. John sometimes got along with almost no one. Tome 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 English 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.

Why I loved it: The blend of history and biography is creative and imaginative. But Barbara Kerley made one important mistake. At the end of the book as the two friends were on their death beds she has them waiting for the fourth of July to die because that would be the birth of the country. In many other documents I have found that the birthday of America was the second of July and that we just celebrate it on the fourth.  Otherwise the illustration and text are a marriage in heaven. I love how Barbara found differences and similarities in tom and John to portray the Democratic and Republican sides so well. The color scheme of the book is blue and red and it comes out just in time for celebrations of the fourth of July. If we could send this book to Congress maybe we would get something done. Lol

Please join other bloggers in Perfect Picture Book Friday over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site to see other fun books.

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.

Do YOU think you would like this book? Why?

John Adams was opposed to promotion of officer...

John Adams was opposed to promotion of officers without Congressional approval, a stance that affected Arnold’s promotion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A Portrait of Thomas Jefferson as Sec...

English: A Portrait of Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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25 Responses to Perfect Picture Book Friday/Those Rebels John and Tom

  1. Welcome back to PPBF, Clar! 🙂 This book sounds very interesting. I like books that show famous people as kids – it makes them seem more real and believable. It’s easy to forget that the great minds that wrote the Declaration of Independence once played in the school yard 🙂 It’s interesting too – my husband is reading a book about Bunker Hill that portrays the whole colonies vs. England in such a different way than we were ever taught in school!


    • clarbojahn says:

      Actually this starts as kids then goes on to talk to them as adults as best friends even though they don’t agree. It gives me hope for today’s Congress. If they couldn’t agree but came to solutions then our today’s Congress should, too.

      Your husband’s book sounds good, too. I wish I read more non fiction adult books. I love non fiction picture books. They are short and so educational. All that true stuff stuffed in short cute books. Love ’em! 🙂


  2. Catherine Johnson says:

    Great to see a book like this for children, Clar. I love your book by the way. Slowly getting around to reviewing it 🙂


  3. We traveled to several historic sites this summer and I’ve discovered (re-discovered?) a passion for history. I will look for this one.


    • clarbojahn says:

      Just what I said to Susanna is so true. I would rather read a historical picture book rather than an historical adult book. I like it that they are short. I also like pictures. :J)

      I”m a kid at heart. 🙂


  4. Great to see you back with PPBF! You know I love historical fiction and nonfiction about American heroes. This one sounds like a great read in the classroom. I always liked Thomas Jefferson and loved visiting his famous home as a child. I liked your suggested activities for using the book.


    • clarbojahn says:

      I Have thoroughly missed PPBF and am glad it’s back, too. 🙂

      I have also liked Jefferson and think he is a great man. I loved visiting Monticello as well. I think it is in Charlottesville VA. We went there last year on one of our visits to UVA. Fun day. The University is made after Jefferson’s home and designed by him as well. 🙂


  5. Linda Sitting says:

    Great blog, Clar, as always. L:)

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Margot Finke says:

    Great cover and non-fiction theme. Now pinned to my Book Reviews (kids to YA) on Pinterest.
    Welcome back Clar. You have been missed!!

    Books for Kids – FREE “Skype” Author Visits


  7. Joanna says:

    What a great idea to do a contrasting biography – those opening lines are very revealing. Love how you bring in the corrected fact at the end for us. I am surprised the editors didn’t spot this.


  8. This book sounds great — starting with their childhoods makes them human, if you know what I mean. Great historical figures like that always seem “above” the rest of us. I like this approach.

    I bet a lot of people don’t know about July 2nd being the actual “birthdate” of the country. I certainly didn’t!


    • clarbojahn says:

      Hi Beth!

      Yes, thank you, big historical biography names scare us away from learning about them and this picture book brings us close to John Adams and Tom Jefferson by talking about their childhoods. Then the reader learns more, once interested. I loved it. 🙂


  9. Glad to see your smiling face, Clar. 🙂 And for the informative post. 🙂


  10. Oh – I know I will enjoy this book. Going to library online catalog to see if our system has it…


  11. Nice review for what looks like a humorous look at history! What a great way to suck kids in. i’ll look for this one. Thanks


  12. I like the cover (and that TJ is holding a quill pen!) I like the idea of the book! I’m a lot like TJ 🙂


  13. Hi Clar – glad to see you again! And thank you for the July 2nd fact. My hubby is a big history fan and now, “I know something he doesn’t know!” Have added this to my library list.


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