From the Publisher
"Using clearly defined sources to provide an accurate account, Jackson offers a warm portrait of Lincoln's love of animals."
School Library Journal
"The bright, cheery artwork stands in contrast to the often gloomily portrayed Lincoln."
Children's Literature - Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger
Abe Lincoln wasn't always President of the United States. He began his life as a young boy on a farm surrounded by animals. This is the story of his lifelong concern for animals. When Abe was young, he told his friends that cruelty to animals is wrong and that everyone has a responsibility to care for them. When he got married, Abe made room in his house for cats and dogs, as well as for his four sons. After serving in the House of Representatives, Abe ran for President of the United States. When he was elected, he prepared to move his family to the White House. But he knew he could not take his dog Fido on the long, difficult trip. He arranged for friends to care for Fido and had a special picture taken of his dog so that he could always remember his friend. Even during the terrible days of the Civil War, Abe Lincoln watched out for animals and told his generals to take care of the animals in their camps. Abe Lincoln was the first President to pardon a turkey before Thanksgivinga tradition that continues today. Ettlinger's illustrations reinforce the gentle tone of the story. Reviewer: Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger
School Library Journal
Using clearly defined sources to provide an accurate account, Jackson offers a warm portrait of Lincoln's love of animals. From his distaste for hunting to the many pets that shared his life, readers gain a sense of the gentle side of this famous president. Ettlinger's illustrations present an aggrandized view of him as a well-dressed boy (sporting a clean white shirt and vest) witnessing and interacting with the creatures in his environment. The visual depiction of one event is not accurate; Abraham is pictured grieving over a dead turkey in a field on a warm, sunny day when, in fact, he shot the bird through a hole in the cabin wall in winter. Still, this view of Lincoln is worthwhile for the history it aggregates. From the turkey he killed to the one he pardoned, saving him from a Thanksgiving dinner in the White House, Lincoln's acts toward animals are chronicled. Animal lovers will appreciate this side of the man's story.-Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
There is a wealth of anecdotal and scholarly evidence that Abraham Lincoln abhorred cruelty to animals in a time when that was not a popular sentiment. From saving a nest of birds, to having a photo taken of his long-time pet dog Fido, to the hijinks of his sons and their White House pets, to the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey, Jackson selects the most authentic of these stories about Lincoln's love of creatures great and small and incorporates them into a charming biography for young readers. Not meant to be a complete account of Lincoln's life, it includes many of the salient facts and historical events, but others are omitted, most notably the deaths of two of his sons. Ettlinger's meticulous, warmly colored illustrations work seamlessly with the text, emphasizing Lincoln's humanity by focusing on facial expressions and gestures toward the animals. The result is an accessible, documented introduction to a seminal figure in American history from a perspective that will appeal to young readers. Well done. (author's note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)