Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mr. Lincoln's Boys

Written by Staton Rabin
Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Most enjoyed by 3rd through 8th graders

Subtitled 'Being the MOSTLY True Adventures of Abraham Lincoln's Trouble-Making Sons, TAD and WILLIE', this book is a nice introduction to a side of Lincoln we don't always hear about - his life as a father.
Willie and Tad were the Lincolns' two youngest sons. Their oldest son, Robert, was away at college for most of Lincoln's presidency. This left the White House in the hands of two rambunctious boys who tried to have as much fun as possible. As you'll learn in 'Mr. Lincoln's Boys' , the two succeeded quite well. Willie and Tad were always pulling pranks, much to the aggravation of White House staff. During important meetings, the boys would barge in to greet their father, causing one visitor to ask, "Mr. President, can't you do something about those rascals?" Well, Mr. Lincoln could, but he usually chose not to.

The paintings that illustrate the book are beautiful and show the love Lincoln surely had for his boys. Many of the faces are painted so well they look like photographs. One of my favorites is of Lincoln holding young Tad in his lap while comforting him from a nightmare. The look on Lincoln's face is so full of warmth and affection, a far cry from the serious face we usually see of Lincoln. A resource list in the back offers suggestions for places and websites to visit to learn more about Lincoln and his family.

Add this to your list of Lincoln books to read as we celebrate his birthday this year.

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