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The average kindergarten student has seen more than 5,000 hours of television, having spent more time in front of the ... More

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Author: Sarah L Thomson

Illustrator: James E. Ransome

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Publisher: Collins, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Learn about Abraham Lincoln's life in his own words. Specific events - like how he earned his first dollar - are presented side by side with some of his most recognizable statements. This picture book uses famous quotes by Abraham Lincoln to tell the story of his life.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 5 to 9

Reading Level: 2.6

Age of Child: Read with a 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter wanted to linger over the pages to look at the illustrations. She wasn't really interested in learning more about President Lincoln, the sayings, or what they meant.

Adult Reader Reaction: Flipping through the pages, this looked like a great book. The idea of blending chronological facts and specific statements to create a biography is a really interesting idea. Reading the book, though, fell short of expectations. Lincoln's physical traits gave him a distinguished look. The illustrator, however, drew an almost comic-book representation.

Pros: Children can learn about President Abraham Lincoln's philosophy of life, as well as connect his life events with some of his famous sayings.

Cons: Although I wouldn't expect portrait-quality renderings, the value of the selected text (and its life lessons) are undermined by the comical main character.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is an interesting book that may have value in a classroom. It is not a book that you'll run to at story time.


Educational Themes: This is a useful way of presenting specific information about President Lincoln. Combining famous quotes with the event that prompted them is a valuable way to add context for young readers.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 2.6

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - biography, historical fiction, US History, US presidents, War, picture book

Date(s) Reviewed: February 2009

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