Abe Lincoln's hat

Martha Brenner

Book - 2021

"Fascinating anecdotes and broadened historical context enrich this biographical picture book that brings to life one of our nation's most revered presidents!"--

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room j973.7092/Brenner Checked In
Creative nonfiction
Picture books
New York : Random House [2021]
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm
Ages 3-7.
Includes bibliographical references.
Main Author
Martha Brenner (author)
Other Authors
Brooke Smart, 1985- (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Review

Gr. 1-3. A far cry from the reverent tone of most children's books on Lincoln, this short, anecdotal biography actually humanizes him. Lincoln is shown as a struggling and somewhat disorganized lawyer who makes his way through goodwill and good sense. The book begins with his purchase of a tall black hat. Later, a group of boys rig up a high wire and knock it off his head, scattering the important papers he kept inside. Courtroom stories include Lincoln proving which man owned a young horse by letting the colt loose to go to its mother and his defense of a slave's right to be granted freedom in Illinois, a free state. Although Brenner includes no source notes, she states that all the stories she relates are true. The humor, lively lines, and soft, shaded colors of Cook's illustrations add to the book's appeal. ~--Carolyn Phelan

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-As a young lawyer, Abe Lincoln found that his stovepipe hat came in handy for more than just covering his head. It also served as a good place to keep important papers. Brenner weaves this and other anecdotes about our 16th president into this easy-to-read selection. Watercolor illustrations highlight the sometimes choppy but informative text. Pair with David Adler's A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln (Holiday, 1989) where beginning biographies are in demand.-Lesley McKinstry, Findlay-Hancock County Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Horn Book Review

As a young lawyer, Abe Lincoln was a memorable individual, friendly and intelligent. To enhance his professional image, he wore a long, black coat and a tall, black hat. Through a series of delightful anecdotes, Brenner reveals the reason Lincoln's hat became such an indispensable item. Brenner and Cook succeed in bringing history to life. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Reader, beware; this isn't exactly a story about Abraham Lincoln's storied stovepipe hat. Before he became an American legend and the leader of the free world, Lincoln practiced law in Springfield, Illinois, where he struggled to stay organized. His creative solution to records management was to stow the most pressing documents inside his now-famous hat. With this colorful anecdote as a brief preamble, Brenner proceeds to deliver a jam-packed overview of Lincoln's celebrated legal career leading up to his presidency. The text rapidly moves between recitations of Lincoln's memorable courtroom cases and exploits as a country lawyer; unfortunately, the pacing sometimes sags. Although historians debate Lincoln's legacy, this profile presents a largely idealized portrait of the 16th president, upholding his legacy as the Great Emancipator; one double-spread illustration shows Lincoln smiling paternalistically at a group of disturbingly expressionless Black people. To Brenner's credit, the text does briefly acknowledge the ongoing Colonial displacement of Indigenous peoples that was well underway during the president's lifetime as well as Lincoln's "middle position on slavery." Children should read this work with an adult who can scaffold their exploration of the complex subject matter. The illustrations alternate between color and black-and-white palettes and are rendered, fittingly, in a midcentury-modern style that both hearkens to the past and looks toward the present day. Misleading title aside, a serviceable addition to the growing shelf of presidential picture books. (afterword, sources, notes) (Picture book biography. 7-12) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.