Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek

img450Let me begin by wishing you HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! A day for celebrating loving relationships.

And now — on with the show!

My Mom Person has been reading Abraham Lincoln books lately. To be precise, she has been reading books about the women in Mr Lincoln’s life, but by default these books are about the man as well. We recently came across this grand book about Mr Abe and an adventure with a childhood friend.

IMG_4932Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek, A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) was written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by John Hendrix.

It was published by Schwartz and Wade Books in 2008.

This is a historical fiction tale about Abraham Lincoln and friendship.

It is suitable for ages 4 and up.

There is an Author’s Note in the beginning of the book attesting to the truthfulness of the story. It includes some bibliographical references.

The story begins:

“Now, here’s an old tale of two boys who got themselves into more trouble than bear cubs in a candy store. I like it so well, I’ve asked my friend John to help out by drawing some pictures. “

And we see John’s hand painting a lovely scene of a valley with a flowing creek and a young man hiking through. Next we meet seven year old Abe Lincoln, working hard to help out his Mom and Dad. And we meet Abe’s friend Benjamin Austin Gollaher. Austin really is a real person and three years older than Abe.

Abe and Austin decide to go look for partridges down by Knob Creek. They “scurry” there “wearing nothing but long homespun shirts!” (I like that word scurry.) The creek has become raging rapids after some big rains, but the birds are on the other side! What to do?! The water is really high and the boys can’t swim! (When my river is like this after a big rain, I’m not allowed to go near it – and I can swim!)

Abe sees a big log laying across the creek and dares Austin to go across it. Now we see Austin’s muddy feet going across that log! And then —- HE MADE IT!!! Next it’s Abe’s turn. It’s slippery. And — SPLASH! Abe is in the rushing creek water! (I LOVE the illustrations in this book!!!!! They make all of this feel real!) (Just like a movie!)

IMG_4934Now Ms Hopkinson STOPS the story! She says it couldn’t have happened like this! They wouldn’t have been so foolish to walk across a wet slippery log! And next we see Austin crawling across the log. Then Abe starts across. But alas, the same outcome. 😦 He’s in the creek! And it’s time for his FRIEND to come to the rescue! But now Ms Hopkinson is not sure exactly how Austin saves Abe! Fine time for indecision! So she lets John make some sketches and he decides that Austin used a big branch to help his friend. And there he is — Austin with his big branch, saving his friend Abe, and saving the day, and saving the story, and saving history!

After that, the Lincolns move away and the two friends never see each other again. But Austin tells stories of his friend and Abe supposedly remembers Austin in times of crisis.

And Ms Hopkinson’s moral to the story — “Remember Austin Gollaher, because what we do matters, even if we don’t end up in history books.” And that’s sure something to think about.

Monday, February the 22, is Presidents’ Day. Officially it’s Washington’s Birthday, but on most calendars it’s Presidents’ Day and in most places that has come to represent the birthdays of both Mr Washington and Mr Lincoln. You can find out more about this federal holiday HERE.

Ms Hopkinson has resources and class activities on her website HERE.
A video interview with her can be found at Reading Rockets.

You can visit John Hendrix’s fabulous website HERE. And his Blog HERE.

This IS Perfect Picture Book Friday! If you would like to see more Perfect Picture Books and a list of resources to go with, then you must visit Susanna Hill’s Blog!

In honor of Presidents’ Day, I give you
Kid President!
with some words to think about!

I wish you a Grand, Long Weekend
Be careful going over water!
Rhythm

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