Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend)

Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend)


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Now, I’m sure you know lots about Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States. But what you might not know is that Abe would never have become president if it hadn’t been for Austin Gollaher.

Learn the story of what really happened to Honest Abe when he was just a kid in this nonfiction picture book that's perfect for President's Day and every day!

The year is 1816. Abe is only seven years old, and his pal, Austin Gollaher, is ten. Abe and Austin decide to journey down to Knob Creek. The water looks scary and deep, and Austin points out that they don’t know how to swim. Nevertheless, they decide to traverse it. I won’t tell you what happens, but let’s just say that our country wouldn’t be the same if Austin hadn’t been there to help his friend.
An ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book
A Booklist Editors’ Choice
A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
“Rewarding on many levels, this high-spirited picture book is an engaging example of metafiction for the younger set.”Booklist, Starred
“A lively, participatory tale. . . . This is a book you should add to your shelves.” —School Library Journal, Starred
“It’s a winner.”The Bulletin, Starred

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524701581
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 12/13/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 295,515
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Deborah Hopkinson is the author of many highly acclaimed picture books, including Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig; Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book; and Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book. She lives in Oregon with her family. Visit her at deborahhopkinson.com.

John Hendrix has collaborated with Deborah Hopkinson on one previous title, A Boy Called Dickens, which was named a Booklist Editors’ Choice and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year. He has also written and illustrated several picture books, among them Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus; Shooting at the Stars; and John Brown: His Fight for Freedom. Learn more at johnhendrix.com.

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Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
shelf-employed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What we do in life does matter - even if we're not famous, even if no one is watching, even if we're only ten years old. That's the message in this little-known true story from Abraham Lincoln's childhood. Delightfully told, "Now, I can just hear you grumblin', Who? That feller isn't in my history book. What do I care?"and humorously illustrated, Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek is a fun read-aloud with a great message.
delzey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If in 2007 a book appeared by a 90 year old author claiming to have been a boyhood friend of JFK, relating an experience where the two as boys nearly drowned in the Charles River of Boston one summer day, where the author saved the young JFK's life and thus played an important role in our nation's history (who would have defeated Nixon in 1960 if JFK weren't even alive?), and there was no one alive who could refute it...Did it really happen? And would we tell the story as a picture book?Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek tells a similar story concerning Abraham Lincoln's Kentucky neighbor Austin Gollaher, about how the the two as young boys attempted to cross a creek, and how Austin rescued Lincoln which allowed him to live and, eventually, become our 16th president. The book attempts to tie up this story with the moral that "what we do matters, even if we don't end up in history books."That's all well and good, but who's to say it happened? Hopkinson sites at the beginning of the book two titles that quote Gollagher from 1898 and 1921 and a third from 1922 that confirms the story, probably taken from the same sources. Given all the biographical scholarship on Lincoln done in the past 90 years it seems odd that more recent references couldn't be cited.Unless the story couldn't be proven to modern standards.Here, again, we see another recent example of the "storyography," the biographical recounting that place story before biography and, in this case, the anecdotal above the known. Hopkinson covers her bases by saying "The events described in this story, so far as this author can determine... did, in fact, take place..." Yes, well, short of Lincoln's personal account, or a third party's account, what we have is, as the subtitle indicates, a tall tale concerning a real individual from history. And since it is a tall tale is there really any reason to lend the story a level of legitimacy by pointing out sources? Does the fact that Lincoln is a character require this level of explanation?And, as always, shouldn't this information be spelled out to the reader in the text and not placed in tiny type on the Library of Congress page intended for adults who won't be as nearly confused about the legitimacy of the story as the intended reader?Actually, Hopkinson does attempt to alert the reader in the text that the story contains some questionable details. At the point when Lincoln falls into the creek a giant, incongruous caution warning splashes across the illustration announcing "I want to make sure we get this right. Because maybe it didn't happen like that." The narrative then proceeds with an alternative version of the event in question because, as Hopkinson later suggests, "For that's the thing about history ¿ if you weren't there, you can't know for sure."Ah, I see. Because we were not there, because the source of the story is perhaps an interested party who could profit from the attention of having been the late president's boyhood friend, because no one can say for sure it didn't happen we can proceed to tell this story as if it did.A book is a powerful thing. It represents the labors of a lot of people ¿ writers and illustrators, editors and publishers and printers ¿ and when presented by adults like parents, librarians, and teachers takes on the weight of authority in a young reader's eyes. They would not have gone through all this trouble if the story weren't true, would they? When a child is handed Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek and reads the text only, do they have any reason to doubt the story happened as described, or at all? Do we teach young readers how and when to question historical events and to vet them for accuracy? No, of course not. They accept what they are given because they trust adults to be honest with them.That said I do not suggest that Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek should not have been written, and that other books that attempt to tell historical anecdotes from the childhood of historical figures cannot be retold, o
atlomas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story is about Lincoln's friendship with his neighbor Benjamin Austin Gollaher. This story would be great to add to a discussion with students about Abraham Lincoln.
danusia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cartoon-like drawings and folksy vocabulary tell the tale of Abe Lincoln and his good friend, Austin Gollaher who got into trouble crossing a creek. The text invites readers to participate in the dialog and the "narrator" of the story interrupts the story, guiding the reader to think about the story and help the protagonists out of their difficult situation. A lesson of true friendship can be learned from this (tall?) tale.
pjw1173 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A nicely written book that blends the genres of tall tale with historical fiction. The story focuses on the friendship of Abe Lincoln and his friend Austin. The book does a very nice job tracking the comprehension of the reader by asking at times directly that couldn't have happened seeing Lincoln went on to be President.
little-sparrow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Abraham Lincoln and his childhood friend, Benjamin Austin Gollaher. I grew up hearing this story my whole life because Austin Gollaher (he went by this name) was my great-great grandfather. You can imagine my surprise when I found this children's book that was written about the story of Austin saving Abe's life when they were just boys. Even if I didn't have a connection to the character in this story I would still give this book five stars. I thought it was cleverly written because there seems to be a dialogue between the narrator of the story and the illustrator. This is a great little book for anyone interested in Abraham Lincoln's life.
allawishus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This would make a great read aloud, probably around Lincoln's Birthday. The illustrations are wonderful and large-format - easy to see from the back of the room! The story is also told in a sort of metafictive way, with the narrator making asides to the audience and giving instruction to the illustrator as she/he tells the story. Very unique!
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic - a look at friendship, and how what we do matters, whether we realize it or not. Recommended.
YouthGPL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kearsten says: Fantastic - a charming look at friendship, and how what we do matters, whether we realize it or not. Recommended.
GaylDasherSmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Humanizes our most famous president by showing a snippet of his childhood.