From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—By using Lincoln's own words, Thomson builds a portrait that relates his statements to significant events in his life. From commenting on making his first dollar ("The world seemed wider and fairer before me.") to working hard, his attitude toward slavery ("If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.") to his reaction to war, and finally to signing the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln's character and times are revealed. Short descriptions of the circumstances and a related quote are set on bold, colorful spreads. Ransome delivers a larger-than-life portrait of this homely president with acrylic, almost cartoonlike paintings. Lincoln kneels on a map, trying to hold the Union together, reaches out to angry Southerners saying, "We are not enemies, but friends," and frets over the war. His awkward size, dedication to his cause, and serious side all come across. An engaging overview, this is a worthy introduction to this famous president.—Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
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Direct quotes from Lincoln enliven the concise text in this picture-book biography of the sixteenth president of the U.S. Thomson follows Lincoln from his Illinois boyhood to the moment he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. With admirable simplicity, Thomson distills the historical facts into short, smoothly paced sentences that present the issues for a very young audience. Thomson defines the term slave, for example, as “human beings treated like animals: forced to work, bought and sold, chained, beaten.” In his illustrator’s note, Ransome acknowledges that he “elongated or exaggerated” body parts “to elaborate the text,” and his brightly colored, acrylic portraits certainly veer into caricature. In an opening page, for example, a young Lincoln is portrayed as a wide-eyed, grinning goofball; in other spreads, his outsize ears dominate the image. The effects are mixed, but at their best, the pictures humanize their subject, and elementary teachers will appreciate this brief overview of Lincoln’s accomplishments, which are further explored in a time line and an author’s note. One glaring omission: there are no sources given for Lincoln’s quotes. Grades K-3. --Gillian Engberg
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.