The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln

The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln

3.0 6
by Mike Reiss, David Catrow

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Mike Reiss, writer for The Simpsons, and David Catrow, honored twice with a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year Award, have joined forces to create one of the funniest, quirkiest books ever, and one that crosses all ages and demographic groups.

Benjy has an unusual problem. He looks just like Abraham Lincoln-right down to the wartSee more details below

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Mike Reiss, writer for The Simpsons, and David Catrow, honored twice with a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year Award, have joined forces to create one of the funniest, quirkiest books ever, and one that crosses all ages and demographic groups.

Benjy has an unusual problem. He looks just like Abraham Lincoln-right down to the wart and beard. Needless to say, life isn't easy. He is given Lincoln Logs and stovepipe hats for every birthday. He gets stuck playing Lincoln in every school play-whether he's part of the story or not. And the teasing is unrelenting.

When school ends, he plans on spending another summer sitting inside alone, but his parents have a surprise. They're sending him to Camp Watchamacallit-The Camp for Kids Who Look Like Things! With scenes reminiscent of Bosch and Brueghel, Benjy learns that he's not unusual-he's unique! And when he realizes what's special about himself, it doesn't take long for others to realize it as well.

Mike Reiss and David Catrow have created a wonderfully hysterical tale that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt a little different from their peers.

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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

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 11.44(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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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