What Lincoln Said

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
What Lincoln Said Book Poster Image
An introduction to Abe Lincoln in his own words.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

An age-appropriate introduction to Lincoln.

Positive Messages
Positive Role Models & Representations

Abe Lincoln is a hero for good reason. As examples go, he's one to follow.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book brushes over the issue of slavery in the actual narrative but goes into it a little further in the section written for parents. Adults can choose how much to share with their kids, but this book might be a good, careful introduction to a deeper discussion about an upsetting part of our nation's history.

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What's the story?

Lincoln's childhood, early career, and presidential challenges are summed up for the picture book crowd by pulling some of his quotes and then expanding on their context. It's a useful way to introduce kids to an important historical figure accurately without sacrificing entertainment. Kids also get a snapshot of a difficult time in our nation's history in an age-appropriate way that leaves room for parents to share further if they wish.

Is it any good?

The author organizes the book well and is able to present a lot of information in a very small space. But it's the illustrations that make the book a standout. Cartoonish without being silly, the pictures are lively and colorful and do a great job of humanizing the man behind the history.

There's room for greater discussion around the issue of slavery, but the choice seems deliberate on the part of the author. While the slaves in the book are African-American, the author never specifically talks about the racism behind the institution of slavery.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what made Lincoln such a great leader. They could also write a bio about another American hero by finding quotes and drawing pictures to tell the story the way the author has done here.

Book details

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