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The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln

( 6 )


Benjy has an unusual problem. He looks just like Abraham Lincoln?right down to the wart and beard. His life isn't easy. He gets gifts of Lincoln Logs and stovepipe hats on every birthday. He gets stuck playing Lincoln in every school play?whether Lincoln's part of the story or not. And the teasing is unrelenting . . . until he spends a summer at Camp What-cha-ma-call-it?The Camp for Kids Who Look Like Things! Here he finally realizes what is special about himself, and it doesn't...

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Benjy has an unusual problem. He looks just like Abraham Lincoln—right down to the wart and beard. His life isn't easy. He gets gifts of Lincoln Logs and stovepipe hats on every birthday. He gets stuck playing Lincoln in every school play—whether Lincoln's part of the story or not. And the teasing is unrelenting . . . until he spends a summer at Camp What-cha-ma-call-it—The Camp for Kids Who Look Like Things! Here he finally realizes what is special about himself, and it doesn't take long for others to realize it as well.

Mike Reiss, a writer for The Simpsons, and David Catrow, honored twice with the New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year award, have created a wonderfully hysterical tale that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt a little different.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
PW called this tale of a boy who resembles the famously homely 16th president "great entertainment, and, at its heart, a touching love letter to all the kids who wish they didn't stand out quite so much." Ages 3-up. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Reiss, a writer for TV's The Simpsons brings the same wacky, irreverent tone to this very humorous and slightly strange picture book. Young Benjy looks very much like the beloved president, down to the beard and mole. He is very tired of receiving Lincoln Logs and stovepipe hats for his birthday and being forced to be Lincoln in every school play, not to mention the teasing he gets at school. Benjy has vowed to spend the summer in his room until his parents send him off to Camp What-Cha-Ma-Call-It, the camp for kids who look like things. There he discovers kids who share the same kind of affliction, including a kid who looks like a horse's butt. While at camp Benjy learns to appreciate who he is, and develop a sense of pride and self-esteem. The book has a wonderful, if not too subtle message, though some of the jokes may go over younger kids' heads. In the end Benjy decides to be proud of his resemblance to Lincoln and leaves us pondering how best to help his younger brother Dickie (who bears a strong resemblance to another, more infamous president). Catrow's illustrations are as always, colorful, fun filled and hilarious. A good choice if you have slightly older children who still like to read picture books, or a little extra room in the budget for fun, but not a must have for the library. 2003, Price Stern Sloan, Ages 6 to 10.
—Sharon Oliver
Library Journal
Gr 3-6-This picture book about an eight-year-old who is unhappy because he looks like Abraham Lincoln is unlikely to find an appreciative readership. When Benjy is sent to "Camp What-cha-ma-call-it: The Camp for Kids who look like Things," he learns to appreciate his appearance after he meets children with even bigger problems. One camper looks like the Mona Lisa, one resembles a toaster, and another child looks like "the back of a horse." At the end of the summer, Benjy returns to school with enough confidence to run for class president. Reiss's sly humor is reflected in Catrow's cartoon drawings. While the brief text and silly art indicate a primary-grade audience, the plot is better suited to older children, but they're likely to be turned off by the format.-Doris Losey, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, Tampa, FL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Benjy looks like Abraham Lincoln as only Catrow can evoke. From the day he is born, Benjy looks like Honest Abe, complete with protruding ears, wart, and beard. Every year, his birthday gift is the same-a stovepipe hat. School teasing is the worst part: "Hey, Stinkin' Lincoln! Split any rails lately?" His parents send him to Camp What-Cha-Ma-Call-It where all the kids look like things: the Mona Lisa, a frog, a toaster, the backside of a horse. The camp experience brings Benjy friends and an appreciation for his face and the way he looks. What keeps the story from being grotesque are Catrow's typical exaggerated caricatures that expand the brief text with humor and puns (a band-aid on Millard Fillmore Dam). The clever cover is even designed to look like a five-dollar bill. The message is upfront, but the silliness, a la The Simpsons (for which the author writes), will grab readers. Adults will need to explain the last scene as Benjy helps his baby brother-who looks like Richard Nixon. Ludicrous fun. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142404164
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Series: Picture Puffin Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 819,240
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 7.92 (h) x 0.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Reiss

Mike Reiss is a former head writer for The Simpsons, a show for which he has won four Emmy awards. He is a graduate of Harvard University, where he served as president of The Harvard Lampoon, and currently lives in Los Angeles, California. His other books for children include How Murray Saved Christmas, Santa Claustrophobia, and The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln, all illustrated by David Catrow.

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Read an Excerpt

The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln

By Mike Reiss


Copyright © 2003 Mike Reiss
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8431-0271-3

Chapter One

My name is Benjy. I'm eight years old. I look a lot like Abe Lincoln.

People first noticed it when I was a baby.

I guess I get it from my parents.

Every birthday I get the same gifts.

I even wear the dumb hat. Anything else looks silly on me.

"Four score and seven teetn ago ..."

In every school play, I have to be Lincoln. Even if he's not in the show.

But the worst part is the teasing.

"Hey Stinkin' Lincoln"

"Split any rails lately?"

So when school ended, I planned to spend the summer sitting in my room-in the dark.

But my parent had a surprise for me ...

They took me to a camp. A special camp ...

... A camp for kids who looked like things.

There was even a kid who looked like the Mona Lisa. And a kid who looked like a frog. And one who looked like a toaster.

There was even a kid who looked like the back of a horse. I felt really bad for him. But after a while, you didn't even notice.

We had fun

every day.


Excerpted from The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln by Mike Reiss Copyright © 2003 by Mike Reiss. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 3, 2011

    absolutely ridiculous!

    my daughter recently brought this book home as an AR reading book from first grade!This book is totally inappropriate for children! n he has the nerve to illustrate as a children's book! The entire book is about kids that look like different things..... one can only imagine what the last kid looked like when the last page read......"Now I just have to figure out how to help my brother, DICKie! This book should be removed from shelves! It angers me to know what they are putting in our childrens books!!!!!!!!!!!! ridiculous!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2006

    Great story for kids, but mostly for adults!!!!

    I love this book. The irreverent humor is displayed in both the illustrations and story and though most of the true humor goes right over my 4-year-old's head, he wants me to read this to him nearly every night! And I don't mind!!! I've always enjoyed twisted kid's stories and this one is one of the best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2004

    Tear Evoking Laughter

    During our recent school book fair, late one afternoon the media lady and I found this book. Within seconds the quiet library was loud with our laughter as we eagerly read each page out loud and howled with fun. We loved this book. I am a substitute teacher and I will carry this book to many of my classes, until they ask me to stop reading it to them. I enjoy reading funny books that have a wonderful message.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2004

    Funny Book

    I bought this book at a book fair and must say that I like it a lot! It may not make quite as much sense to a student, but it is a pretty funny book for an adult. I think though that kids would relate to it just because it is silly and the young boy finally comes to love the way he looks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2004

    Great illustrations.

    As a librarian, I have to say this is a good book. The illustrations are fabulous and the story is cute. I think it teaches children to love the special way they are and helps them learn to accept others, no matter what they may look like.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2004

    Not Appropriate for Children!

    I fail to see how this book could help the self image of any child. In fact, Please preview the final page BEFORE purchasing. The baby brother is supposed to resemble Richard Nixon (how on earth would a young child possibly know this?). Instead, the nose on 'Richard Nixon' is highly suggestive of the male anatomy. When this book was shown at a recent teaching convention, several people gasped at the last page! Please look carefully before buying.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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