Abraham Lincoln: A Ballad

Abraham Lincoln: A Ballad

by Myra Cohn Livingston, Samuel Byrd

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Abraham Lincoln is an ideal subject for a folk ballad as demonstrated in this simple and moving narrative. The identical beginning and final quatrains almost beg to be set to music. ``A man for all the people,/A man who stood up tall,/Abe Lincoln spoke of justice/And liberty for all.'' Some stanzas incorporate well-known details of his life, and others integrate quotations from famous speeches. Each double-page spread has one or two stanzas on the right (there are 18 all together) and a full-color painting on the left. On every page, the text is placed against the painting of a saw-cut end of a log. The illustrations realistically portray famous scenes from Lincoln's life, such as the delivery of the Gettysburg Address. They are majestic and reverential, very much in keeping with the inspirational tone of the poetry. Unlike Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire's homey, anecdotal Abraham Lincoln (Doubleday, 1957), Livingston and Byrd's vision is lofty and done in broad strokes. A fine introduction for children who crave a genuine American hero.-Judy Greenfield, Rye Free Reading Room, NY
Sheilamae O
Using a picture-book format, Livingston relates the life of Abraham Lincoln in quatrains, and Byrd uses full-page watercolors to depict the boy who grew up to become a lawyer, was elected president, lived through the Civil War, and then was assassinated. At her best, Livingston uses Lincoln's own words to weave her story. At her worst, she descends to something close to doggerel: "Born in a log cabin / Work was what he knew, / Helped chop trees, plant corn, split logs. / Abe just grew and grew." Still, the simply told story and the large, detailed illustrations provide an age-appropriate introduction to Lincoln for primary students. The misleading jacket blurb tells us that Livingston uses several quotes, including the following "from the Gettysburg Address": "Fervently do we pray / That this mighty scourge of war / May speedily pass away." The words actually came from the second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865, a fact Livingston supplies in her careful source notes.

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Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.77(w) x 11.32(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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