Saturday, June 29, 2013
Abe Lincoln's Dream
Author & Illustrator: Lane Smith
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Year: 2012
Location: Knox County Public Library- Lawson McGhee
Awards: featured on "Calling Caldecott" blog, Horn Book & School Library Journal starred reviews,
Summary: Presidental scholars will immediately recognize the inclusion of Roosevelt, Johnson, and Reagan's dogs as they begin this story of a girl who goes on a White House tour and encounters Abraham Lincoln's ghost. The book deftly moves between silly jokes and serious questions as they discuss the issues ("Our union was so fragile, so uncertain. Like that ship on the rocky sea.") of union and equality that so plagued President Lincoln. The girl Quincy reassures Lincoln of the progress that has been made since his time. The Afterward explains Abraham Lincoln's reoccurring dream of himself in a ship moving toward a distant shore and also introduces the president dogs that are in the story. Lane use of a muted palette here fits the "historical" feel of the story and the typography looks like those used in newspapers of Lincoln's time. There are many pictorial references to history in the illustrations as well.
Classroom Ideas: Along with the obvious history curriculum connection, there are several uses of simile here. I wouldn't use this one to introduce Lincoln as you have to have some understanding of the issues he faced to get the story, but rather to enhance a study of his presidency.