As we wind down from the big election, check out Abe Lincoln’s Dream by Lane Smith, a delightful little story about our nation’s past and future.
While on a field trip to the White House, a little girl named Quincy gets separated from her class. Wandering into the Lincoln Bedroom, she encounters a tall figure dressed in black, wearing his signature stovepipe hat. It’s the ghost of the sixteenth president! But he’s not scary, Quincy reflects. In fact, “he had a long face that made her feel sorry for him.”
Poor President Lincoln is haunted by a dream in which he is on a ship, lost on a perilous sea. He’s worried about the state of the union he left so suddenly. So Quincy takes him on a trip to show him how the nation’s doing today. And, because there are perks when you’re friends with a ghost, it’s a magical flying trip. Soon Mr. Lincoln sees that, while we’re still working on some things, “it’s getting better all the time.”
I loved the gentle humor of this book—Lincoln likes to crack jokes that aren’t very funny (but Quincy still laughs politely). And the illustrations, based on Civil War-era political cartoons, are unique and eye-catching. Lane Smith is known for the versatility of his artwork (he won a Caldecott Honor last year for Grandpa Green), and he delivers here once again.
Check out Lane Smith’s interview on NPR’s “All Things Considered” here.
Read on, readers!
Abe Lincoln’s Dream by Lane Smith; Roaring Brook Press; 16.99; Ages 3-7