cover image Abe Lincoln Remembers

Abe Lincoln Remembers

Ann Warren Turner. HarperCollins Publishers, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-027577-8

Minor's (Red Fox Running) stately, lifelike paintings and Turner's (Learning to Swim) anecdotal narrative--written in the conversational voice of Lincoln--shape an insightful portrait of this leader. The author chronologically organizes the text into accessible vignettes, each accompanied by a finely detailed illustration marked by sharp, nearly photographic definition. Turner emphasizes Lincoln's fascination with words and learning with well-chosen similes (as a lawyer, ""I practiced my cases out loud as I walked,/ learning how to use words/ like a leading rein on a colt/ to take people where I wanted""), and stresses his early commitment to end slavery, his unwavering ethics and his profound anguish at the destruction and death caused by the Civil War. Cheerful moments inject some levity into the volume, as when Lincoln describes Mary Todd, the woman who would become his wife (""She was bright and brave/ like a flag cracking in the wind,/ all color, rustle, and shine""), and his son Tad's habit of driving his cart and goats through the White House hall. This well-rounded volume ends on an affecting, ironic note: As Lincoln and his wife ""wait to go see a play,"" he thinks back on his childhood log cabin, reflecting on ""how much has come to pass since then. How much there is still to be done."" Ages 6-9. (Jan.)