Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers

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Overview

Abraham Lincoln was the first president of the United States to wear a beard. What gave him the idea to grow a beard was a letter he received from an eleven-year-old girl from Westfield, New York, named Grace Bedell. "Dear Sir," she wrote, "...if you will let your whiskers grow I will try to get [my brothers] to vote for you. You would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you..." Here is the true story of the ...

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Overview

Abraham Lincoln was the first president of the United States to wear a beard. What gave him the idea to grow a beard was a letter he received from an eleven-year-old girl from Westfield, New York, named Grace Bedell. "Dear Sir," she wrote, "...if you will let your whiskers grow I will try to get [my brothers] to vote for you. You would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you..." Here is the true story of the determined girl from Westfield whose letter helped create the image of Lincoln that we have today. Illustrated with oil paintings that capture the look and feel of nineteenth-century America, this charming book will give children a real-life look into our nation's history from a young girl's point of view.

Karen B. Winnick has a keen interest in history, especially Lincoln. A graduate of Syracuse University, she has studied art at New York University, the School of Visual Arts, and in Florence, Italy. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

The true story of Grace Bedell, who suggested that Abraham Lincoln grow a beard.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Textured oil paintings accent this account of how a letter from an 11-year-old girl may have provoked Abraham Lincoln to grow his beard. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
This is the charming, true story of how eleven-year-old Grace Bedell wrote to Abraham Lincoln, on the eve of the 1860 presidential election, to suggest that growing a beard might enhance his chances for winning. The timing is perfect for this election year, as the story raises the issue of how children can and do become involved in the political process; and how they notice more than adults credit to them. The oil paintings have a nicely stylized period look, while the addition of the actual handwritten text of Lincoln's response adds realism.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Most children view election speeches as boring and the workings of government as "adult stuff". They are, however, future American voters and schools, at some point, demand that they study government. With election in the air, children are more interested than usual and if you present books that encourage them, they may just grow up to be informed voters. Karen Winnick tells the true story of Grace Bedell, the young girl who persuaded the future president, Abraham Lincoln, to grow a beard so that his face wouldn't seem so sad and more people would vote for him.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-In 1860, 11-year-old Grace Bedell wrote to presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln suggesting that he grow a beard. Lincoln responded to the letter. On his way to Washington, DC for his inauguration, his train stopped at her hometown and a bewhiskered Lincoln introduced himself to Grace. Too amazing to be true? Well, the letters exist to prove it, and they are reproduced at the end of this interesting picture book. The story is presented simply and with authenticity. Children will identify with this independent young girl. Grace, her large family, and their solid small-town home are depicted in an American folk-art style appropriate to the period. The girl's letter is a perfect example of the manners and speech of that time, and the relationships among the siblings and parents ring true. The greatness and humility of Lincoln are shown as he takes the time to respond to a child and meet her, and, remarkably, accept her advice. Containing a wonderful piece of history beautifully and succinctly presented, this story can be read in groups or individually to entertain and to teach.-Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library System, Orlando, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563974854
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 420L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.33 (w) x 8.84 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen B. Winnick is the author and illustrator of many picture books, including Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers, another Civil War–era story. Her poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her paintings have been exhibited in Southern California galleries. Ms. Winnick lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2001

    An Enticing Book

    This book offers enough facts to introduce Grace Bedell and inform children who she was and how she played a major role in Mr. Lincoln's life. A great story of how a young woman influenced a part of American History.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2001

    For kids of all ages

    I read this book to children grade one through six. They all loved it and found it very interesting! I am buying another copy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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