"A" Is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women

by Lynne Cheney, Robin Preiss Glasser

View All Available Formats & Editions

Lynne Cheney and Robin Preiss Glasser collaborated on America: A Patriotic Primer, which captured the imagination of American children and became a national best-seller. Now they turn their hands to A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women and bring the great women of American history to life. Filled to the brim with words and


Lynne Cheney and Robin Preiss Glasser collaborated on America: A Patriotic Primer, which captured the imagination of American children and became a national best-seller. Now they turn their hands to A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women and bring the great women of American history to life. Filled to the brim with words and pictures that celebrate the remarkable (although often unmarked) achievements of American women, this is a book to relish and to read again and again.
Mothers, daughters, schoolchildren, generations of families — everyone — will take Abigail Adams's words to heart and "remember the ladies" once they read the stories of these astonishing, astounding, amazing American women.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Author/vice-presidential spouse Lynne Cheney and illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser -- the high-flying team that brought you America: A Patriotic Primer -- celebrate a rich history of U.S. womanhood in a picture book that promises to help teach "the transformation of women's lives...one of our great national narratives." As they did in America, Cheney and Glasser travel letter by letter through the alphabet, highlighting individual heroes, groups, movements, and major endeavors. Glasser's lush, busy artwork shines as the book begins with "A is for ABIGAIL ADAMS, who knew that women should be heard," showcasing in a large frame some of her famous quotes; her home life on a farm with her family; and extra scenes of Adams melting spoons, teaching her children, and weaving cloth. Further on, "F is for the FIRST LADIES, who have also served our nation" features teacup portraits of leaders from Martha Washington to Laura Bush; "P is for the PERFORMERS" includes a dazzling gatefold revealing a stage filled with singers, dancers, and comedians; and "U is for US and our grand history" gives a timeline of benchmarks in American history. If it sounds like a lot to cover in the span of 32 pages, it is, but Cheney's text focuses on the important points with straightforward flair -- clarifying everything with an introductory letter and Notes on the Text in back -- as Glasser's incredible artwork extends each page into a cornucopia of additional information with dramatic scenes and decorative elements. Inspiring for readers who need an introduction to women's history, this hero-studded tribute is an effervescent eye-opener. Matt Warner
Publishers Weekly
The follow-up to this team's America: A Patriotic Primer outshines their debut as it spotlights American "women achievers" in many areas. The Second Lady devotes a handful of pages to individuals ("A is for Abigail Adams, who knew that women should be heard"; Emily Dickinson gets a full-page dedication for "D"). More often, however, she uses a single name as a springboard to a thematic spread introducing others with similar accomplishments ("K is for Mary Kies and other inventors and entrepreneurs") or designates a letter for a particular vocation ("E is for the Educators, the women who taught us well"). In addition to politicians and writers, the book also acknowledges scientists, artists, athletes and mathematicians. Several vague entries slightly weaken the book's thrust (e.g., "S is for the Sixties and Seventies and the Second Wave" refers to the "second wave" of the struggle for equal rights for women, yet offers no specifics; "V is for Variety" is followed merely by the question, "Who can count all the things girls can grow up to be?"). Concluding notes flesh out the information provided on most of the pages, and a plethora of strong quotes add women's voices to this light-hearted history lesson. Rendered in black ink, watercolor washes and colored pencil, Glasser's creative illustrations brim with imaginative and playful details, and her likenesses of the many famous personalities are often uncanny. The letter "P" inspires the visual piece de resistance: a double fold-out enables readers to open an elegant theater curtain on a broad cast of performers-from Gloria Swanson (in her prime) to Judith Jamison to Maria Tallchief. Indeed, many of these pages deserve hearty applause and will likely whet readers' appetite for more information on these impressive women. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
"Remember the Ladies" Abigail Adams told her husband in 1776 in a letter. In fact, she went so far as to warn him that ""if particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation." Unfortunately, it was not until the 1900s that women were able to vote. Still, women found many ways to make their mark, to have their say, and to get their way. Presented in the form of an alphabet book, this is a remarkable collection of stories about women who have made a difference in the history of the United States; indeed, many also made a contribution to the world. Each beautifully illustrated, often annotated, page is packed with information and quotes. We meet women who we have heard of before and others who are new to us. We are shown how women have been able to make a difference in every aspect of life, despite opposition. They have been fliers, artists, business people and inventors, and have done just about everything you can think of. Robin Preiss Glasser finds the most extraordinary ways to present the information; for example, the letter F is for "First Ladies." Each of the ladies has her portrait shown on a teacup, milk jug, sugar bowl, coffee pot, or teapot. The ladies who made their mark in the press are shown on the front of a newspaper. Those who were performers of some kind are shown on a stage. By the time we close this extraordinary book we feel empowered, knowing that women have achieved so much in a world that has not always been hospitable to their successes. We can feel proud, and we can also feel gratitude to this author and illustrator team forcreating such a lovely and meaningful book. At the back of the book the author has provided notes on the text that give further information about the women pictured in the book. 2003, Simon and Schuster, Ages 8 to 10.
— Marya Jansen-Gruber
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Similar in design and concept to America (S & S, 2002), this alphabet book is attractive and fun to read. Through it, Cheney hopes to educate children about a number of strong individuals who contributed to American society, and, in many cases, helped women to gain their civil rights. With rare exceptions, the profiled women were born before 1950. For each letter, a page features a person or a concept. The "E" page, for example, discusses six educators. The letter "J" is associated with Anna Jarvis, advocate of the Mother's Day holiday. Information about each figure is given in a phrase or one-sentence reference to her major achievement. The colorful, cartoonlike illustrations make this book particularly engaging, and the detail and varied design of the pages are additional enhancements. Some of the pages have borders containing the names of the women who fit the letter category, such as the authors listed in the borders on the "W" page, which cameos Edith Wharton and lauds women as writers. All of the people are shown in active postures. A double gatefold producing the effect of an opening theater curtain reveals an array of performers ranging from Mary Martin as a flying Peter Pan to Mahalia Jackson singing. While the information is limited, the overall effect creates an awareness of the totality of American women's achievements.-Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The creators of the sumptuous, if superficial, America: A Patriotic Primer (2002) follow up with a better, look-alike tribute to the achievements of this country’s women, Abigail Adams to Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Though Anne Hutchinson takes a solo turn for "H," most entries are multiples, from the four female medical workers surrounding Elizabeth Blackwell to a double-gatefold stage at "P," filled with renowned Performers. Occasional captions or pithy quotes, supported by sketchy notes at the back, provide snippets of context for at least some of the women here--and Glasser gives them recognizable faces in her big, playful, intricately detailed compositions. But few were born after 1950, and some are never even named: several feminists are seen marching in "S is for the Sixties and Seventies and the Second Wave" (i.e., of feminism), for instance, but not identified. Still, as a consciousness-raiser, this offers a larger cast than Cheryl Harness’s Remember the Ladies: 100 Great American Women (2001). (Picture book/biography. 8-10)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.50(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.40(d)
AD1030L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 Months to 12 Years


Meet the Author

Lynne Cheney’s most recent book is the New York Times bestseller, We the People: The Story of Our Constitution, illustrated by Greg Harlin. She is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers America: A Patriotic Primer, A Is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women, When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots, A Time for Freedom: What Happened When in America, and Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, and has written a memoir, Blue Skies, No Fences. Mrs. Cheney is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, Vice President Richard B. Cheney.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >