Mr. Lincoln's Boys

Last updated Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Author: Staton Rabin
Illustrator: Bagram Ibatoulline
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 0670061697
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2013

Synopsis: Review
In celebration of Abraham Lincoln's two hundredth birthday comes this breathtakingly illustrated picture book about the president and his two youngest sons. Tad and Willie Lincoln were mischievous pranksters who treated the White House as their personal playground. They tormented nearly everyone they encountered except their doting father. Even when they demanded a full presidential pardon for their soldier doll, he was happy to oblige. For him, the boys were a welcome distraction from the looming Civil War. Based on true events, Mr. Lincoln's Boys reveals a playful side of one of history's greatest presidents.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Does anyone know who Abraham Lincoln is?
•  Has anyone ever had the opportunity to meet a president?
•  Does anyone know where the White House is located?
•  How tall was Abraham Lincoln? (Lincoln stood at 6 feet 4 inches tall!)

•  Squirm- to wriggle or writhe. To feel or display discomfort or distress
•  Invasion- the incoming or spread of something (usually an army)
•  Acrobatic- having good balance, agility, and coordination
•  Squeal- a sharp, shrill cry or to inform on someone
•  Rascal- a mischievous or dishonest person
•  Scamp- a playful, mischievous, or naughty young person
•  Glower- to stare with dislike or anger
•  Pardon- to forgive someone for an offense.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What was the name of Tad and Willie's "soldier doll"?
•  What would you do if you could live in the White House?
•  Abraham Lincoln's profile can be found on what forms of US currency? The penny and the five dollar bill!
•  What do you think of Tad and Willie's behavior in the White House?
•  Was it fair that the president was so tolerant of their behavior?

Craft ideas:
•  Create your own soldier doll out of construction paper. You can simply draw the doll or cut it out.
•  Create a log cabin illustration. Cut out strips of construction paper-- these are your logs. Cut out rectangles for the chimney and door. Cut out a square for a window. Glue the log strips onto another piece of paper and construct your cabin. If desired, stretch out a cotton ball and glue it to the top of the chimney to make it look like smoke.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!