Lincoln and His Boys
In Lincoln and His Boys, Rosemary Wells traces Lincoln’s journey to the presidency and through the Civil War years through the eyes of his two younger sons, Tad, and, more poignantly, Willie, who died in the White House. Although an interesting biographical introduction to the Lincoln family, the book is more about father-son relationships than history or politics. We see Abraham Lincoln as a man who involves himself with his sons at every level, be it inspecting a fort set up on the White House roof, colluding at their welcome intrusions into cabinet meetings, or leading Tad through the ruins of Richmond. Difficult situations such as war and mental illness are seen sensitively through the eyes of children, who are ultimately more concerned with their parents’ love than events in the adult world around them. P.J. Lynch’s lavish illustrations compliment the text, depicting a Lincoln who is both a haunted man and a loving father. However, although a picture book, the vocabulary and subject matter are too mature for very young readers. Recommended for grades 3 upwards, or as a gift for a father.