Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

{on Goodreads}
Looking at Lincoln is a great book to share with the little ones in your life during any time of the year, but especially today! Abraham Lincoln was born 205 years ago today and to honor his birthday, I picked out a very special read- one that I would highly recommend to mark this holiday. Maira Kalman examines Lincoln from a great perspective, that of a child with a curiosity that fuels her to find out about the little and big things that made Lincoln one of the most admired Presidents in the history of our country. Our narrator finds out so many interesting tidbits about Lincoln's past: that he went to school for only one year, his favorite dessert was vanilla cake, and other things that create a great picture of who Lincoln was as a regular man. She digs into the history of Lincoln's time as President too; how he worked so hard to abolish slavery and bring the country back together during the Civil War are some of the focal points of this depiction. This book honors the memory of President Lincoln and gives young readers a chance to find out about our country's history along the way.

As Kalman notes in this book, there are over 16,000 books written about President Lincoln. He is one of my favorite Presidents, and there are so many great ways to introduce his memory to a young reader. I picked this book because I wanted to target young readers who may have no idea who Lincoln was. I think the book's best feature is the tone of curiosity that is carried throughout. Who was Lincoln? What did he like to do? Did he have any pets? These are questions that are relevant to a younger age group, and this book is sure to have them engaged with its colorful illustrations and attention to the details that matter to young readers (Lincoln did have a dog, by the way, whose name was Fido). Note: I am especially in love with the cherry blossom painting (having lived in DC for the past two years). As February also marks National African American History Month, this is a great way to tie the two themes together. It mentions some prominent African American activists, such as Sojourner Truth. The introduction of these figures is an opportunity to take this mini history lesson a step further.

Recommended for Kindergarten-3rd Grade (ages 5-8)
Bottom Line Rating 5/5

Title: Looking at Lincoln
Author: Maira Kalman
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (An Imprint of Penguin Group), 2012
Price: $17.99 (I paid $13)
ISBN: 9780399240393
Format: Hardcover
Source: Amazon

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