Monday, February 10, 2014

Abraham Lincoln, The Boy Who Loved Books

Hello, Teaching Friends!

Are you looking for a good read aloud about Abe Lincoln? My favorite biographies are those that help our students see the famous person as real by sharing episodes in their growing-up years.

I'd like to recommend Abraham Lincoln, The Boy Who Loved Books , by Kay Winters and Nancy Carpenter.

This is a beautiful book, both to look at and to read. The illustrations are textured like oil on canvas, and they are full of humorous details that your students will love. Younger students will love examining the pictures to find the many ways that Lincoln found to practice writing the alphabet. They'll giggle at the schoolroom scene with the snoozing teacher. They'll like the pictures of Abe wrestling with Jack Armstrong, and hopefully be duly impressed by the handshake after the wrestling match.

The episodes that Winters chose display well the characteristics that make Lincoln someone who's worthy of our respect and study today. The story is arranged like poetry on the page, and actually has a poetic quality. Some of my favorite passages:

"Bears growled, wolves howled, panthers screamed. Abe shivered. Dark was a fearsome time."

"They did not understand this bookish boy. Abe knew he must move on."

"He learned the power of words and used them well."

The book spans his lifetime from birth to the White House, focusing on Lincoln's dogged devotion to books and learning. This focus makes it an ideal starting point for class discussions on learning, books as a source of knowledge, and what your students want to learn more about.

Here's a quick draw-and-write if you'd like to extend the book. Enjoy!

Happy Teaching!

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