Mr. Lincoln's Boys

Overview

In celebration of Abraham Lincoln's two hundredth birthday comes this breathtakingly illustrated picture book about the president and his two youngest sons. Tad and Willie Lincoln were mischievous pranksters who treated the White House as their personal playground. They tormented nearly everyone they encountered-except their doting father. Even when they demanded a full presidential pardon for their soldier doll, he was happy to oblige. For him, the boys were a welcome distraction from the looming Civil War. ...

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Overview

In celebration of Abraham Lincoln's two hundredth birthday comes this breathtakingly illustrated picture book about the president and his two youngest sons. Tad and Willie Lincoln were mischievous pranksters who treated the White House as their personal playground. They tormented nearly everyone they encountered-except their doting father. Even when they demanded a full presidential pardon for their soldier doll, he was happy to oblige. For him, the boys were a welcome distraction from the looming Civil War. Based on true events, Mr. Lincoln's Boys reveals a playful side of one of history's greatest presidents.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 1-4

Tad and Willie, the mischievous sons of President Abraham Lincoln, scampered around the White House surprising and irritating almost everyone. Their pranks, however, delighted their father, who was faced with the grim realities of the Civil War. After an introductory few pages that will help children understand the historical context, Rabin strings several stories together. One time the boys rigged all the service bells in the attic to ring at once, causing both chaos and concern: "Servants rushed up and down the stairs, wondering who had called them," and Lincoln's secretaries feared a national crisis. Another time, they interrupted a serious war-planning meeting with a general, bouncing on their father's knees, pulling his nose and creating such a commotion that the frustrated general finally said, "Mr. President, can't you do something about those rascals?!" to which Lincoln replied, "Let the children have a good time." Rabin includes the story of the pardoning of Jack, the children's doll that, dressed like a flashy Zouave soldier, committed many military infractions. An extensive author's note explains that the incident was drawn from Tad Lincoln's Father , written by Julia Taft, a family friend who often served as the boys' nanny. Fictionalized dialogue throughout is believable. A large part of the appeal of this book can be credited to Ibatoulline's masterful illustrations. Evocative and detailed, they fill the pages with visual information and emotion. Readers will be intrigued by the antics of these famous children.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI

Kirkus Reviews
Not much is heard about President Lincoln's children, so Rabin fills a gap with this brief snapshot into the lives of two of them, Tad and Willie, which Ibatoulline illustrates with a softly drenched light that suggests yesteryear and a hint of melancholy, his images often evoking hand-tinted daguerreotypes. Working from historical documents, then embellishing to give the story a narrative, Rabin pleasingly draws two little rascals, full of practical jokes and absolute entitlement to their father's attention, which the old stoic gives with imperturbable, beatific grace (while his aides bite their tongues). When the boys have second thoughts after condemning a toy soldier to death, they go to their father for a pardon; Abe consents with a wry "it makes me feel rested after a hard day's work, to find some good excuse to save a man's life." An author's note explains the genesis of the story and fleshes out the principals, including Tad and Willie, who, like their father, lived too-brief lives. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670061693
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 10/2/2008
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 690,246
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Staton Rabin lives in Irvington, New York. She is a screenwriter, an author and a member of the Lincoln Society. This is her first book for Viking.

Bagram Ibatoulline is the acclaimed illustrator of numerous books for children, including The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. He lives in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania.

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