Author: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson
Publication Date: 2008
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction - Biography/Picture Book Summary: This book depicts Abraham Lincoln's life starting from when he was a young man, through his assassination. The story of his life is told with striking illustrations and incorporation of Lincoln's actual words.
What I Think: One of my favorite biographies is Martin's Big Words, so when I saw this book, which has a very similar cover, I was excited to read it because I knew how great the other one was. This book has only an image of Lincoln on the cover, the title and other book information is found on the back cover. It makes for an astounding effect if you ask me. Peanut and I actually read this book, I wasn't sure how interested he would be, but the illustrations are amazing and with their help I was able to read the story to him. There were times when I had to tell my own version of the story, especially because he has no idea what slavery is (he is only three...). The emotions on the people's faces easily portray how sad they were to be enslaved, and I pointed out that a long time ago people had to wear chains and work hard. Peanut felt so badly for the people. Even at 3, he was interested and asked me if I ever had to be in chains. I truly think it speaks for the book that he was able to understand such complex ideas at such a young age. Each page also includes Lincoln's own words to match what is being told about at that time in his life. I love it.
Read Together: K - 8
Read Alone: 4 - 8
Read With: Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. By Doreen Rappaport; other biographies - about Lincoln or others; other text about the Civil War or slavery
Snatch of Text:
"He had just a mite of schooling,
yet he loved words the way his papa,
a master storyteller did.
He stuffed books inside his shirt.
In between splitting wood and plowing,
he stood in the field and read.
He read some books so many times,
he knew whole parts by heart.
The things I want to know are in books;
my best friend is the man who'll git ma book I ain't read."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Making Inferences
Writing Strategies to Practice: Characterization, Biography/Autobiography
Writing Prompts: What kind of person do you believe Lincoln was? Support your answer using examples from the text. Find an inspirational quote (from Lincoln or another famous person), and write about how that quote applies to your life.
Topics Covered: Ambition, Challenges, Change, Courage, Empathy, Slavery, Civil War, Presidency
Translated to Spanish: No