Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Abe Lincoln Loved Animals

Abe Lincoln Loved Animals

Ellen Jackson
Illustrator:  Doris Ettlinger 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Albert Whitman, 2008   ISBN: 978-0807501238

Abraham Lincoln and his family lived on the frontier. Theirs was not an easy life, and they all had to work hard to grow and find enough food to feed everyone. Abraham’s father would go out to hunt for rabbits and other game, and when Abraham was old enough, he too was expected to hunt for food. After he killed his first turkey, Abraham decided that killing animals was not something that he could do. He loved animals too much to make them suffer.

Much later in life, when Abraham Lincoln was first a senator and then the President of the United States, the tall man with the lean face still found time to care for and play with animals. His children had many animals as pets, and everyone in the White House had to get used to accommodating the cats, dogs, and goats that were a part of the Lincoln family. One winter day Abraham’s son Tad found a turkey roaming around the White House grounds. Tad immediately made friends with the turkey, calling him Jack. Tad was therefore very upset when he found out that Jack was going to be the main course on Thanksgiving day. Thankfully for Jack, and for Tad, President Lincoln was willing to do something a little out of the ordinary to save the turkey.

Many of us have read books about Abraham Lincoln. We have read about his hard childhood and his journey from a law office in Springfield to the White House in Washington D.C. In this book, Ellen Jackson tells us about Abraham Lincoln’s love of animals, and his efforts to do the right think by the furry and feathered creatures whom he met. She has gathered numerous stories about Lincoln, sprinkling her engaging text with Lincoln’s own words.