Tuesday, February 15, 2011

President's Day Children's Book Recommendation

What do Abraham Lincoln and George Washington have in common?

They both have birthdays in February, which we celebrate on President's Day.  In honor of both great men here are a few children's books worth reading.
A. Lincoln and Me by Louise Borden.  Illustrated by Ted Lewin.  Scholastic Press, 1999.

A. Lincoln and Me tells the story of a boy who shares a birthday with Abraham Lincoln.  (Side note: Ben shares his birthday with George Washington.) Lots of facts about Lincoln are described as the boy admires Lincoln.

You could say Lincoln is the boy's hero.  Giving children men and women who are worthy of admiration and imitation is a good thing. 

Abe's Fish: A Boyhood Tale of Abraham Lincoln by Jen Bryant.  Illustrated by Amy June Bates.  Sterling Publishing, 2009.

Abe's Fish uses a fictional account of Lincoln as a boy to describe his understanding of the word "freedom."

The last 4 pages include factual information about Lincoln and an bibliography of books and websites.  This kind of additional information is unusual in a picture book but very appreciated!
Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers written and illustrated by Karen B. Winnick.  Boyds Mills Press, 1996.

Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers is based on the story of a letter written by an eleven year old girl to Mr. Lincoln advising him to grow whiskers. 

Though the book is fictional the letter to and from Lincoln are real.  I appreciate this book as a way to develop an interest in history.

Sybil's Night Ride written and illustrated by Karen B. Winnick.  Boyds Mills Press, 2000.

Sybil rode her horse 40 miles to muster the men of her father's volunteer militia during the Revolutionary War.  Though Sybil's Night Ride is a fictional account it is based on a real girl.

I loved learning about Sybil's heroic actions.  According to the author's note "if you can follow Sybil's journey now, you can see historic markers all along the way.  There is even a statue of Sybil and her horse Star on the route in Carmel, New York."

This isn't strictly a President's Day book but George Washington is said to have thanked Sybil in person for her actions so I'm including it.

"The Many Faces of George Washington" Cobblestone, November 2007.  Technically this is a magazine and not a book but the entire magazine is exclusively about George Washington.  And it's good.  Lots of info.  You can purchase a copy of the issue from Cobblestone for $6.95.

My favorite article is the excerpt from Washington's "Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior" and the modern translations.

Those are my recommendations for children's picture books related to Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and President's Day.  What books do you recommend?


Alicia said...

I haven't picked mine up yet, so thank you for the short list!

Carrie said...

Glad you post these. I'll definitely reference your lists in the future!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

The girls and I were at our library last night and they had pulled lots of books about early American presidents and I thought of you. Also thought you'd be jealous to know that Focus on the Family (about five miles down the road from me) was having a hands-on President's Day kids' event today that featured learning activities for kids of all ages. I think it was geared for homeschooling families, but the public was invited as well. I thought it was an awesome community event...but we didn't end up going.

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