Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books


In a tiny log cabin a boy listened with delight to the storytelling of his ma and pa. He traced letters in sand, snow, and dust. He borrowed books and walked miles to bring them back. When he grew up, he became the sixteenth president of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln. He loved books. They changed his life. He changed the world.

Illustrations and brief text describe all the things that daddies do for their children,...

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In a tiny log cabin a boy listened with delight to the storytelling of his ma and pa. He traced letters in sand, snow, and dust. He borrowed books and walked miles to bring them back. When he grew up, he became the sixteenth president of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln. He loved books. They changed his life. He changed the world.

Illustrations and brief text describe all the things that daddies do for their children, most importantly giving them lots of love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
PW called this a "fine introduction to a president over whom, from boyhood, `letters cast a magic spell.' " Ages 5-8. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
"In the wilds of Kentucky, 1809/ a boy was born." In simple, poetic language, with a pleasing reliance on rhythm and repetition, Kay Winters relates the story of the young Abe Lincoln's life. His legendary journey from log cabin to the presidency touches on scenes and themes that young readers will relate to—fireside stories and the fearsome sounds of the night outdoors. The text scans easily on the page, and its wordplay makes it satisfying to read out loud. Carpenter's oil-on-canvas illustrations render the sixteenth president with a light and humorous touch, picking up the whimsy in the text. A spread of Lincoln as President shows him absorbed in a book, his own portrait towering above the mantel, and the window behind him casting long shadows over the floor. The image is delightful in its use of color and light, directing the reader's eye to the expression on the face of the still, focused figure. The text reads, "He learned the power of words/ and used them well." At another level this book might strike a chord with any child reader who has ever felt misunderstood or out of place, as did the young Lincoln. An author's note offers historical background in the form of a brief biography. A selected bibliography is also provided, that includes a reference to material from the Indiana Historical Society. 2003, Simon and Schuster,
— Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-An introduction to Lincoln's childhood that concentrates on his education. Throughout the book, there are references to his thoughts and feelings-"His ideas stretched. His questions rose. His dreams were stirred." The prose is formatted like poetry, the print is small, and the sentences are short. The oil paintings on canvas have a folk-art quality, with young Lincoln shown as lanky and dark haired. Some pictures are humorous, as when the classroom teacher snores on while Abe displays his knowledge of subtraction. A spread depicts the family's hardscrabble move to Little Pigeon Creek, where "no cabin waited" and they lived for a time in a "half-faced camp" that was exposed to the elements on one side. Another spread depicts a wintry graveside scene and describes the grief Lincoln felt when his mother died. The legend of his honesty-walking miles to return change-is summed up. Lincoln's political career is touched on briefly, while his wife, children, and assassination are mentioned only in an author's note. Stephen Krensky's Abe Lincoln and the Muddy Pig (Aladdin, 2002) also concentrates on Lincoln's childhood and is more accessible to beginning readers. Because of the popularity of the subject, libraries already owning that work might also want to consider this title, which is a solid classroom read-aloud.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a moving tribute to the power of books and words, Winters (But Mom, Everyone Else Does, p. 1239, etc.) introduces a young backwoods child who watched "peddlers, pioneers, / politicians, traders, slaves / pass by," down the old Cumberland Trail, until "his ideas stretched. / His questions rose. / His dreams were stirred"—and he was caught with a love of learning that carried him "from the wilderness / to the White House." In a mix of vignettes and larger scenes, Carpenter (A Far-Fetched Story, 2002, etc.) plants her lanky lad, generally with book in hand, amid a variety of rustic and early American scenes as he passes from infant to president. Using strong, economical language, Winter recounts selected incidents from Lincoln’s life that point up several aspects of his character, sums up her thesis at the end ("He learned the power of words / and used them well"), then closes with a supplemental afterword that does not, unlike Amy Cohn’s Abraham Lincoln (2002), misrepresent the Emancipation Proclamation. For bookish young readers in search of a role model, here’s the best one since Jean Fritz introduced St. Columba in The Man Who Loved Books (1981). (Picture book/biography. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781417743377
  • Publisher: San Val
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Pages: 36
  • Product dimensions: 8.19 (w) x 10.14 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Kay Winters was a classroom teacher and a college instructor before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of Wolf Watch, named to the Bank Street College's Best Children's Books of the Year list, and also an ABA Kids' Pick of the Lists. Other books include Tiger Trail, Did You See What I Saw?: Poems About School, and the Teeny Tiny Ghost series. She loves visiting schools to speak about her books. Kay lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Earl. Visit her Web site at www.kaywinters.com.

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