Feb. 8, 2009: On the shelves

Feb. 12 marks the 200th anniversary of the birthday of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. To celebrate, the Portales Public Library recommends the following children’s books:

Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) by Deborah Hopkinson, pictures by John Hendrix.

In this boisterous tale, Hopkinson and Hendrix introduce us to a lesser known story from Lincoln’s childhood, as related by his childhood friend, Austin Gollaher. According to his story, Gollaher once rescued a 7-year-old Abe from Knob Creek, close to his Kentucky home. In true tall tale fashion, this is a story that begs to be read aloud.

Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells, illustrated by P.J. Lynch.

Many books focus on the public figure of Lincoln. This heartwarming story highlights the relationship between Lincoln and his four sons. Lynch’s light-infused oil paintings reflect the private family life of a public persona. Scenes of Lincoln rough-housing with his sons, the family around the dinner table, or a father comforting a child help us envision a loving father who took time for his family and sons, in spite of the horrendous pressures and responsibilities of his office. Although this is a fictional account, an author’s note explains that the story is grounded in facts.

Mr. Lincoln’s High-Tech War: How the North Used the Telegraph, Railroads, Surveillance Balloons, Ironclads, High-powered Weapons and More to Win the Civil War by Thomas B. Allen and Roger MacBride Allen

Did you know President Lincoln is the only president to have been given a patent for his own invention?