Friday, February 12, 2016

Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar Parir d'Aulaire

Today being the 207th birthday of Lincoln, is a good day to share this picture book biography. Ingri and Edgar Parir d'Aulaire were Norwegian and Swiss immigrants to America in the late 1920's. America was kind to them, so they had a zeal for American history and American icons. They have an entire series of illustrated biographies of American heroes. 

This is a very wordy book, so it isn't a little kid book, but for a slightly older kid that is interested in history, it is fantastic. It relates kid friendly stories, smoothing out complex ideas, and making Lincoln relateable to kids. 

Some reviewers on Amazon critique this book as have old fashioned pictures, which kids can't really relate to. I like them, but then, I like old fashioned pictures. The only illustrations I had a problem with were the pictures of "negroes" drawn in a cartoonish, vaudeville style. It was usual for the time, but it looks very dated. 

The book alternates between colored and black and white pictures. 

Abe and Sally after their mother died. 

Abe Lincoln had a non-wicked stepmother who encouraged his reading, organized their little family, and generally made life better for them. 

Here Lincoln is playing a trick on his stepmother who told him that at the rate he was growing he had better make sure his head was clean so he didn't dirty up her ceiling. 

The pictures have an odd sort of perspective. 

Aren't these wee little soldiers cute?

His first love, Ann Rutlidge, who then died. Poor Abe had a rough time of it with females he loved dying. 

Love this picture of him reading on the floor amidst all the chaos of three boys. 

Heading to Washington to be president.

The grey and the blue.

The story ends with Lincoln sitting down and resting after the war had been won. There is nothing so unpleasant as John Wilkes Booth in this book. In our classroom, the kids have been flipping through an easy read version of Lincoln and the page with John Wilkes Booth and the gun is the favorite. I think I have been asked to read it about ten times in the past two days. 

So it isn't a perfect biography, but I enjoyed it. A little dibble dabble into the greatness of Lincoln. 

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