From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3—Using clearly defined sources to provide an accurate account, Jackson offers a warm portrait of Lincoln's love of animals. From his distaste for hunting to the many pets that shared his life, readers gain a sense of the gentle side of this famous president. Ettlinger's illustrations present an aggrandized view of him as a well-dressed boy (sporting a clean white shirt and vest) witnessing and interacting with the creatures in his environment. The visual depiction of one event is not accurate; Abraham is pictured grieving over a dead turkey in a field on a warm, sunny day when, in fact, he shot the bird through a hole in the cabin wall in winter. Still, this view of Lincoln is worthwhile for the history it aggregates. From the turkey he killed to the one he pardoned, saving him from a Thanksgiving dinner in the White House, Lincoln's acts toward animals are chronicled. Animal lovers will appreciate this side of the man's story.—Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
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This well-sourced picture book depicts a series of anecdotes from the Lincoln’s life that show how the great man was a lover of all forms of life. His deep appreciation and respect for animals began in childhood. He scolded the other children for torturing a turtle, and he was so upset after shooting a wild turkey to help feed the family, he swore to never hunt again. He kept all manner of pets—“rabbits, dogs, cats, and even a few goats”—while living in the White House, and even during the most trying of times during the Civil War he would spend time with his animals. The annual tradition, still alive today, of the President pardoning a turkey on Thanksgiving originated when his boy Tad befriended a turkey slated to become dinner. The bright, cheery artwork stands in contrast to the often gloomily portrayed Lincoln. A very different look at a figure who is as well covered as any, this book will endear Lincoln to young animal lovers, swelling the ranks of his many admirers. Grades 1-3. --Ian Chipman