Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Abe Lincoln's Hat

Abe Lincoln's Hat by Martha Brenner (Author) and Donald Cook (Illustrator)

During the holidays my parents bought my son this book. Its a level 3 book in the Step into Reading series which is a first grade level book. Basically it means longer sentences, and formation of paragraphs. My son loves John brown, loves his Lincoln on a stick, and basically soaks up anything about the Civil War. I encourage it because I know there will come a time that he'll rebel against the Civil War and I'll lose my Civil War buddy. He might not, he might come back to the war later, who knows. So for now I try to enjoy this.

Anyway, he loves this book. He asks for it once or twice a week. The story is simple. Lincoln is a poor (monetarily) lawyer but he tries to dress up, which means buying a top hap. His office is also very messy. One day he realizes he could store important papers in the hat and he would be reminded about them every time he took off the hat. Then it provides a few examples from Lincoln's law career. Each highlight is basically a common sense approach to law. Two men claim they own the mother of a prized young horse. Lincoln convinces them to put the two horses in a field, release the young horse and it will go its mother. Are the stories true? I don't really know but they sound like the sort of stories Lincoln would tell. The end of the book deals with Stephen Douglas and ends with Douglas holding Lincoln's hat at the inauguration, which is true. All in all the book seems accurate, nothing jumps out as obvious fiction. I think it is a good book to get a young kid interested in the Civil War. The book might say its for a first grader but my preschooler (5 years old) loves the story and can understand it just fine. He doesn't know all the words yet but he'll get there.

I would recommend this book for anyone trying to get a child interested in history.

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