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Picture Book Thursday: Presidents ~ Part Two

Lincoln Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship
Written by Nikki Giovanni
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Ages 9-12
Download the Teacher's Guide (PDF)

Abe Abe Lincoln Loved Animals
Written by Ellen Jackson
Illustrated by Doris Ettlinger

President President Pennybaker
Written by Kate Feiffer
Illustrated by Diane Goode
Ages 4-8
Watch the Video Trailer.

Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship
In this latest offering from author Nikki Giovanni and illustrator Bryan Collier, readers are treated to insight into Lincoln's freeing of the slaves and richly textured illustrations that combine collage and painting.  Students are sure to appreciate the comparisons that flow through the book, whether they be the portrayal of a young Lincoln and a young Douglass, or the illustrations of a White House gala paired with a Civil War battle scene.  I was particularly interested to learn that Mrs. Lincoln did not share her husband's views on slavery, and I further enjoyed the Lincoln/Douglass timeline at the book's end.

Thumb_turkey pardon Abe Lincoln Loved Animals
Chock full of references to Lincoln's love of animals, this book will help students view Lincoln as a real person, caring and concerned for the well-being of all creatures. Some interesting animal interactions include family dog Fido being the first presidential pet to have his picture taken, son Tad riding a pair of goats through a White House reception and Lincoln beginning the tradition of pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey.  Teachers will enjoy the research that has gone into the writing, including the author's note at the end. On her Web site, author Ellen Jackson also has some fun teaching tips for the book, including recipes!

President Pennybaker
"I promise to make life fair," is Luke Pennybaker's slogan in his run for the White House.  Keep in mind that Luke is a little boy, his dog Lily is his vice presidential pick and he's running on a platform that promises among other things, "...you'll be able to eat dessert anytime of the day and go to sleep as late as you want to."  If Luke sounds like your kind of President, then you'll enjoy this lighthearted tale.  It nicely complements the more historically focused presidential picture books and adds a bit of levity.

Activity
Display some photographs of presidential monuments like the Lincoln or Washington monuments. Provide students with clay, Model Magic or Play-Doh to try to recreate the artwork.  Find a local business to display them in their storefront.

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