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Our Abe Lincoln

Barbara McClintock, Illustrator, Jim Aylesworth, Adapted by
Barbara McClintock, Illustrator, Jim Aylesworth, Adapted by , illus. by Barbara McClintock. Scholastic $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-439-92548-8
Reviewed on: 01/12/2009
Release date: 02/01/2009
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Proving once again that they are a match made in picture-book heaven, Aylesworth and McClintock (previously paired for The Gingerbread Man ) turn out a biography of Lincoln virtually guaranteed to hook readers. Adapted from a song popular during Lincoln's presidential campaigns, its verses can be sung to the tune of “The Old Grey Mare,” and tell of iconic or seminal moments in Lincoln's life: “Smart Abe Lincoln read late by the firelight/ Late by the firelight/ Late by the firelight/ Smart Abe Lincoln read late by the firelight/ Many dark nights ago.” McClintock brings in the storytelling magic: she shows costumed children on one side of a curtain in a school auditorium, an eager audience waiting on the other. As usual, her attention to detail rewards those who look closely: one of the actors pokes her face out from beneath the curtain, adults get ready to tie the beard on the actor playing Abe, and the expression on the boy playing the raccoon is not to be missed. Endnotes amplify each verse with relevant facts. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)

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