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Lincoln Tells a Joke : How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country)
Poor Abraham Lincoln! His life was hardly fun at all. A country torn in two by war, citizens who didnrsquo;t like him as president, a homely appearance-what could there possibly be to laugh about? And yet he did laugh. Lincoln wasnrsquo;t just one of our greatest presidents. He was a comic storyteller and a person who could lighten a grim situation with a clever quip. nbsp; This unusual biography of Lincoln highlights his life and presidency, focusing on what made his sense of humor so distinctive-and so necessary to surviving his tough life and times.
Krull and her husband, Brewer, begin this unique portrait of Lincoln by cataloguing the reasons he had to be depressed ("His childhood was harsh. He looked homely and he knew it"). Subsequent pages proceed to tell Lincoln's story through the lens of his antidote for these disappointments: humor. Whether finding it in joke books or by making fun of his ungainly frame and snobby in-laws ("ſOne d is enough for God, but the Todds need two,' he wrote"), this chronological biography shows how the president used his sophisticated wit and penchant for wordplay to salve hardships and soothe foes. The hazy edges, muted hues, and earth tones of Innerst's (M Is for Music) stylized acrylics underline the image of Lincoln as backwoodsman-turned-politician. Exaggerated faces and cartoon touches keep the tone light, even as the authors touch on serious subjects. The final spread depicts Lincoln seated in his D.C. memorial chuckling as he reads a humor book he enjoyed as a boy. Readers will smile, too, at this lighthearted look at Lincoln and the many droll quotations attributed to him. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
July 20, 2010
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