ABE LINCOLN CROSSES A CREEK by Deborah Hopkinson

ABE LINCOLN CROSSES A CREEK

A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend)
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Abe Lincoln’s childhood friend Austin Gollaher changed the course of history when he rescued the future president from a swollen Kentucky creek in 1816. That true story is the jumping-off point for this lively exploration of the more slippery aspects of history writing: “For that’s the thing about history—if you weren’t there, you can’t know for sure,” says the folksy first-person narrator. To that end, Hopkinson and Hendrix, in wonderful watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations, explore alternate versions of what might have happened that fateful day. Abe was walking across a tree bridge… but, no! Wouldn’t he have crawled? The author-as-narrator imagines the reader’s responses (“What’s that you’re saying?”), describes the story-in-progress (“Wait, I’m trying to remember what happens next”) and invokes the illustrator, too (“John, could you please stop painting that noisy water?”). While all the sound effects and story interruptions, especially mid-stream, might be effective in a read-aloud session, they could otherwise become frustrating. It may not keep kids out of creeks, but this plucky Kentucky romp may well spawn a future historian or two. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-375-83768-5
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2008




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