The night they drove poor George Washington into politics. His fussbudget cows demand to be swaddled in lavender gowns and bedded on silk. His hogs have all the cultivated solicitude of Jeeves. His sheep pretend to great knowledge. All this is way too much for George, who decides it's better to brave the perils of revolution than stay home on the farm. Small's rhymes are a delight -- fun, smart, quick. His illustrations have the same measure of sharp humor: The animals very much take on their roles as dowdy frumps or amiable hoteliers or pathetic, self-important scholars. Everything is turned on its head -- clod to preciousness, slob to Mrs. Grundy, idiot to savant -- with such good humor that every character emerges as a hero. And, in the process, history is rewritten, fashioned to a reality more compelling than a list of the places George slept. Small (Ruby Mae Has Something to Say, 1992, etc.) may be on to a brand of you-were-there history that could yield some important understandings.