Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

When Abraham talked to the trees

When Abraham talked to the trees

Elizabeth Van Steenwyk
Illustrator:  Bill Farnsworth 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 10
Eerdmans, 2000   ISBN: 0802852335

When Abraham Lincoln was still very young his mother died. Besides her love, her biggest legacy to her son was a book, which he read hungrily. Just a year later Abraham’s father brought home a new wife and her children. She had brought several books with her into the wilderness, and Abraham read these whenever he could. Unfortunately Abraham did not have much time to read because there were always so many chores to do. Sometimes the only time he had to read was at the end of a long work day.

Abraham “hungered for more learning” but he could not attend school regularly. He practiced his writing by writing words in the snow, or by writing on the back of a shovel with a piece of charcoal. He learned many stories off by heart and shared them with others. He was fascinated by the power of words.

This is a very moving picture book that beautifully captures Abraham Lincoln’s quiet, gentle and thoughtful inner nature. Readers will see how much he longed for an education and what he did to try to get one on his own. They will see too how his gift for writing and speaking first began.

This superb picture book will make a splendid addition to any personal, school, or public library.