Review: Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman

February 20, 2012 Penguin, Picture Book 4

  • Reading level: Ages 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (January 5, 2012)
  • ISBN-10:
  • Source: Publisher

A little girl is walking through the park when she sees a tall man who reminds her of someone.  She can’t remember who he is at first, but when she pays for lunch (with a five dollar bill) she recognizes him at once: Abraham Lincoln.  She becomes fascinated with Lincoln and goes to the library to learn more about him. Throughout the book, she relays facts that she comes across in her reading, from his birth in a small log cabin to his presidency, the Emancipation Proclamation and his death. Told through a series of colorful illustrations, Lincoln’s history comes to life on the pages. 

Jenn’s review: As a mom, I appreciated this book because it contained not only useful, textbook type information about Lincoln, but also not so common information, like that his favorite cake was vanilla, he always had an apple on his desk, and that he kept notes he’d jotted down in his tall hat. At just 32 pages, it gives young children a glimpse of Lincoln’s life and information about why he was one of the most powerful presidents in our nation’s history. But my review isn’t important…from the mouth of a child, my six-year-old son Justin’s review:

I really liked the colorful pictures. They aren’t drawn perfectly, but look like they are done by someone my age. Also, did you know that Lincoln’s stepmother lead him read anytime he wanted and sometimes didn’t do his chores. I wish I could do that! It was sad to read how he died. He loved people, all people, and because of this he was shot by a very bad angry man. I got to see his big tall hat at the museum in Washington, DC once. It really is a tall hat. I wonder how he was able to walk through doors with that hat on. Mommy says he was a tall man, almost 7 feet tall! Anyway, I think this book is the perfect book to read to celebrate President’s Day.  I want to go to see Lincoln’s Memorial soon.  It’s too bad I can’t climb up in his lap and talk to him. I think we would have a lot to talk about. 


This is our first picture by Maira Kalman, I guarantee it won’t be our last. Highly recommended!


4 Responses to “Review: Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman”

  1. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads

    Justin, you wrote a fantastic review and have made want to have this book. I love Maria Kalman’s illustrations but I haven’t read this book yet.

  2. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    Bravo to the both of you! I love Maira’s books. If you want to read a great one, get “And the Pursuit of Happiness”.