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ABE’S FISH by Jen Bryant


A Boyhood Tale of Abraham Lincoln

by Jen Bryant & illustrated by Amy June Bates

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4027-6252-9
Publisher: Sterling

A soldier from the War of 1812 helps young Abe learn a valuable lesson, in this brief tale based on a short passage from Lincoln’s first official biography. Abe hops out of bed determined to follow Pa one morning, but he still isn’t strong enough to lift the axe out back and so must stay behind. Down at Knob Creek, Abe catches a big fat fish and imagines the joy he’ll bring to Ma and sister Sarah with his prize. On the road home, he passes a weary soldier, in torn clothes and worn-out-boots. Abe remembers school lessons about freedom and the teachings of his parents and gives the fish to the soldier, asking him whether he found freedom in the war. The answer stays with young Abe all the way to the White House. Bates’s pencil-and-watercolor illustrations use a muted palette that gives a period feel, and the handsome design features an appropriately tall, skinny trim. A lengthy author’s note and bibliography add classroom value to Bryant’s earnest and age-appropriate historical fable. (Picture book. 6-10)