Friday, May 16, 2014

PPBF: Abe's Fish

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Abe's Fish: A Boyhood Tale of Abraham Lincoln
Abe's Fish: A Boyhood Tale of Abraham Lincoln
Written by Jen Bryant
Illustrated by Amy June Bates
  • Sterling, 2009
  • Ages 4 and up; Lexile 580
word count 1263, 40 pages

Historical, Biography,
Sharing, Freedom

"Abe woke to the sound of the cabin door opening and closing. He jumped up, pulled on his pants, and ran outside.
'Where are you going?' Pa asked when he heard Abe approaching.
'With you!" Abe answered, trying to sound natural, like this was what he did every day."


This slice-of-life biography of young Abraham Lincoln explores the concept of freedom developing in the boy, Abraham. The story is taken from a true incident in which Lincoln shared his fish with a soldier. The book recreates Abraham's childhood and pieces together the moral principles which would guide him in later life. It includes a three-page author's note on other incidents in Lincoln's life and an extensive bibliography for further reading.

What I Love:
Abe's Fish is another good example of modern biographical picture books. It examinines one true incident, then supports the truth with historical detail, allowing the reader to connect with the main character through fictional details. It is spare and well-told.
I love anything by Amy June Bates. This book is beautifully illustrated: great characterization, compositions, and palette.

The Star-Spangled Banner
1. Explore the Land of Lincoln, Illinois, the Kentucky homestead, Gettysburg, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, or Ford's Theater.
2. Brush up on the War of 1812, when the story takes place.
3. You'll find a half a dozen kid-friendly sites for studying the Civil War at Civil
4. Download a free coloring book on the Emancipation Proclamation.
5. Construct a pretzel log cabin from Fun Family Crafts.
6. Look for these other related Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

My review of Vinnie and Abraham
Read my review of Unspoken

an early reader review

Reviewed by Kirsten

Reviewed by Jarm

Reviewed by Wendy

Reviewed by Rhythm and his mom person
Check out all the  titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for May 16, 2014, available on Susanna Leonard Hill's excellent blog.


  1. I love historical fiction! This book is particularly important because it shows the influences that built character for such a famous person like Abe. So important for kids to read a story like this. Enjoyed the other book reviews you shared.

    1. Thank-you. Books like this make me want to write great historical fiction.

  2. Love Abe Lincoln stories - I'll definitely look for this - thanks!

  3. Love the pretzel log cabin idea. And I do enjoy historical fiction about childhood anecdotes.

    1. I seem to remember making something like this with macaroni when I was a child. Thanks for your comments.

  4. I love everything about Abraham Lincoln. Always glad to hear of a new title. This one looks very interesting. Thanks so much for sharing, Joanne!

    1. Thanks. I stopped by your Pinterest boards this week. Great idea! You're making your boards into the perfect resource.

  5. Books that portray famous figures like Lincoln in their childhood are some of my favorites. I'm adding this to my library list for tomorrow.

    1. I hope you like it as much as I do. I admire the author's ability to make historical events real for her readers.

  6. This book sounds like fun - and I especially like it that you included lots of other titles for curious kids who want to read more about honest Abe.

    1. What could be more fun than reading this book? Reading MORE books!! Thanks for your comments, Sue. It IS a fun book.

  7. LIke Patricia, I love historical fiction and in a picture book is even better. More and more teachers are depending on non fiction picture books to prepare a child for future classes so this is a gem.

    Thanks for sharing your selection. :)

    1. I prefer the nonfiction picture books of the Twenty-Teens to the fiction that's being published. The current trends for younger audiences and outrageous humor don't always fit the needs of the readers in my life, but books like Jen's fill the niche beautifully. Thanks for your thoughts.


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