#PPBF: Looking At Lincoln

I looked at the calendar this morning and it said that today was Friday.


So that means that it’s time for a Perfect Picture Book review.

I’m taking part in Carrie Charley Brown’s ReFoReMo Challenge this month: http://www.carriecharleybrown.com/reforemo/reforemo-day-6-joyce-sweeney-applies-the-plot-clock

We are reading picture books and learning to use them as mentor texts. So you can imagine what my dining room table looks like – stacks of books all over the place – eating is over-rated anyway, right?


And of course, I’m still participating in Kristen Fulton’s 52 Weeks of Charting Non-Fiction: http://www.kristenfulton.org/dig-in/52-weeks-of-charting-nonfiction

So I’ve got several stacks of books for that as well.

Today’s Perfect Picture Book makes history come alive – exactly what we want a great children’s non-fiction picture book to do.


Title: Looking at Lincoln

Author and Illustrator: Maira Kalman

Publisher: Nancy Paulson Books (Penguin Young Readers – 2012)

Theme: Abraham Lincoln, slavery

Age Level: 5 and up

Opening Lines:

“One day, while walking through the park, on my way to breakfast, I saw a VERY TALL MAN. He reminded me of someone, but I could not think who.”



From Amazon:

Abraham Lincoln is one of the first giants of history children are introduced to. Lincoln’s legacy is everywhere – there he is on your penny and five-dollar bill. And we are still the United States because Lincoln helped hold them together.

But who was he, really? The little girl in this book wants to find out. Among the many other things, she discovers our sixteenth president was a man who believed in freedom for all, had a dog named Fido, loved Mozart, apples, and his wife’s vanilla cake, and kept his notes in his hat. From his boyhood in a log cabin to his famous presidency and untimely death, Kalman shares Lincoln’s remarkable life with young readers in a fresh and exciting way.”

Why I like this book:

  • For the above reasons…the author brings history alive – Lincoln becomes very real to us and to children.
  • Wonderful illustrations full of action and bold color.

Related Activities

Lesson plans and other activities here: https://texasbluebonnetaward2014.wordpress.com/lincoln-related-activities/

PBS series on Lincoln here: http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/linc10/


Moms and Dads, Teachers, Librarians and Fellow-writers: Don’t forget to hop over to Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book Friday: http://susannahill.blogspot.com/2015/03/perfect-picture-book-friday-tuesday.html

And now for some great news!

If you remember, I participated in Christie Wild’s PB 14:14 Challenge. It was great fun to have an excuse to be reading picture books night and day (I’m working, honey). At the beginning of the challenge, Christie had promised there would be a bunch of wonderful prizes to be awarded – and guess what?

pb14 logo

I won an incredible picture book critique with author Amy Dixon. Whoo-hoo! You can check out the other winners here. http://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com/2015/03/pb-1414-in-2015-prize-day-and-list.html

The second piece of news is that I just packed up five copies of my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking (for the parents and child-care facilitators), along with five board books (for the kids). I’m sending them to the VNS of Iowa Storybook Project. I found out about this amazing initiative that gets books into the hands of kids who have none – check out this post from author A J Wright: www.ajschildrensbooks.com/2015/02/26/march-ing-books-to-kids

There is also a Facebook page if you want to find out more about this: https://www.facebook.com/PBPiO

And here are a few thoughts about why books are so important.


  • Are the best gift you can give a kid, other than your time
  • Can be shared anywhere, anytime…they are not just for bedtime.
  • Create a bridge between generations – grandparents can read to grandchildren who live 1000’s of miles away…or the other way around…our amazing computer technology makes that possible.
  • Help kids do better in school…research shows that children who are read to and have books as part of their lives and in their homes have more success in school and in life.
  • Foster a child’s imagination and language development.

We just celebrated World Read Aloud Day – why not open a book and read it to your child – doing so will strengthen your connection with each other.

Logo final BB2 1 inch 300dpi

Have a wonderful weekend! Our snow if finally melting…and Saturday night is turn-back-the-clock time…HURRAY!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on March 6, 2015, in Perfect Picture Book Friday and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Ha, yes I agree, time sure races by. Definitely not enough hours in a day and days in a week. I bags an extra Saturday would do it. 😉 I happened to skim through my emails and caught your this post, yay! I think it’s way more interesting and fun finding out about famous people through kids eyes. They often see what we don’t see. Love your resources as always. I’m glad I stopped by. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Vivian. I’m still surprised at the bright yellow and pink cover/pictures of Looking at Lincoln. Also, it’s kind of you to give away your books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The colors are unusual for the topic…perhaps bringing int he cherry blossom theme of Washington, DC.
      I was so happy to send the books, Manju…they are better off in the hands of parents who will use them with their kids, than in a box or on a shelf. 😉


  3. Want to know more about the place where Lincoln was assassination. We are coming up on the 150th Anniversary of the event at Ford’s Theater. http://www.amazon.com/Little-HISTORY-Travels-FORDS-THEATER/dp/0988503042/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414620769&sr=1-1&keywords=Little+miss+history+travels+to+ford%27s+theater

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on your PB 14:14 win! I took the challenge last year and had a great time. Hope to join in next year!


  5. Great cover for the larger than life president. Enjoyed your review. Congratulations on the critique win. It’s hard to believe that its been 150 years since Lincoln was assassinated.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m nearly overwhelmed with all the homework we’ve given ourselves (i’m taking part in the writing events you mentioned) but learning LOTS!!! Thanks for pointing out the book-giving event. It sounds so worthwhile. I’ll be sure to spread the word.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would be awesome, Joanne…there are many worthy events and organizations…but there are so many children without books, we cannot stop our efforts.
      And yes…it’s hard to pass on all of the wonderful challenges and learning opportunities out there…but I’m with you…somewhat overwhelmed. 😉


  7. Cool! 😀 I like Abraham Lincoln!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That Ms Kalman can put such a fun twist on a story! I love her books! Sounds like you’ve been busy doing good deeds! Hurray for you and congratulations on your rewards!


  9. This looks like a fun way to read about Lincoln. Fido, Mozart, vanilla cake – who knew?


  10. Busy lady, you are. 😀 I’ll have to put this book on my list….Thanks!


  11. Vivian, your dedication to revising yourself and learning more amazes me! Thanks for the shout out…so sorry I am just seeing this now, but I’m glad I came across it!


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