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ABE LINCOLN by Kay Winters


The Boy Who Loved Books

by Kay Winters & illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-82554-4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

In a moving tribute to the power of books and words, Winters (But Mom, Everyone Else Does, p. 1239, etc.) introduces a young backwoods child who watched “peddlers, pioneers, / politicians, traders, slaves / pass by,” down the old Cumberland Trail, until “his ideas stretched. / His questions rose. / His dreams were stirred”—and he was caught with a love of learning that carried him “from the wilderness / to the White House.” In a mix of vignettes and larger scenes, Carpenter (A Far-Fetched Story, 2002, etc.) plants her lanky lad, generally with book in hand, amid a variety of rustic and early American scenes as he passes from infant to president. Using strong, economical language, Winter recounts selected incidents from Lincoln’s life that point up several aspects of his character, sums up her thesis at the end (“He learned the power of words / and used them well”), then closes with a supplemental afterword that does not, unlike Amy Cohn’s Abraham Lincoln (2002), misrepresent the Emancipation Proclamation. For bookish young readers in search of a role model, here’s the best one since Jean Fritz introduced St. Columba in The Man Who Loved Books (1981). (Picture book/biography. 7-9)