Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Abe Lincoln: His Wit and Wisdom from A-Z

Abe Lincoln: His Wit and Wisdom from A-Z

Alan Schroeder
Illustrator:  John O'Brien 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Holiday House, 2015   ISBN: 978-0823424207

When people think of Abraham Lincoln they often think of the Gettysburg Address, slavery, and the American Civil War. The man who fought so hard to hold the United States together did so much in his life, and in this book young readers will find out a little about the frontiersman, the soldier, the lawyer, the politician, and the president who, a modest and unpretentious man, had a profound impact on the history of his country.

In this beautifully illustrated book the author takes readers through the alphabet, focusing on moments and achievements in Abraham Lincoln’s life. For each letter he offers children several articles that touch on things that are relevant to America’s sixteenth president.

For example, on the pages for the letter A there is a long article about “A is for amendment” and we find out about how Lincoln worked very hard to end slavery in the United States. Thanks to his efforts the Thirteenth Amendment outlawing slavery was passed in 1865. On these pages we also find articles about the words Aloud, Autobiography and Ax. We learn that Lincoln read aloud a great deal, as he felt that doing so helped him to remember what he read. When Lincoln was getting ready to run for president he wrote an autobiography of his campaign. The word Ax appears because Lincoln had to cut a lot of wood when he lived in the backwoods of Indiana. In addition to these four articles readers will also find several quotes on the A pages, quotes that will help them better understand what kind of person Abraham Lincoln was.

Some of the articles that appear on the pages of this book describe things that readers will find familiar, but others offer information that readers know nothing about. For example, Lincoln was a soldier for three months; he was challenged to a duel (which he did not want to fight); he loved the book Aesop’s Fables when he was a boy; he was the first president to invite people of color to come to the White House; and he loved cats.

Throughout this book the well written and engaging text is accompanied by wonderful illustrated vignettes that give the reader much to look at and to think about. By the time they reach the end of the book, which brings them back to the letter A, young readers will have a new appreciation for the man who gave so much to his people and his country.