cover image A. Lincoln and Me

A. Lincoln and Me

Louise Borden. Scholastic Press, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-45714-9

The gangly narrator of this earnest tale shares a birthday with Abraham Lincoln; moreover, the boy has big hands and feet and is ""skinny as a beanpole/ and tall for my age."" When his outsize features invite teasing from classmates, his kind, articulate teacher, Mrs. Giff, also draws on the boy's resemblance to the famous president: ""Lincoln had big hands, too. Strong hands.... Strong enough to split rails for a fence, and wrestle two men at a time, and pull 36 states back together.... Big hands and a big heart."" Lewin's (Peppe the Lamplighter) realistic watercolor portraits bring the youngster and his changing emotions into close focus, while rough background sketches render the former president. The juxtaposition of these elements simultaneously conveys the feel of two distinct eras and reinforces the parallels stressed in the text. Borden's (Good Luck, Mrs. K.!) use of body type to link the boy and his hero gives her inspirational story a fresh, child-geared slant, and her descriptions of Lincoln are often poetic and pertinent. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)