Friday, April 17, 2015

Review: Looking at Lincoln

Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman

Abraham Lincoln is a familiar face because his profile can be seen on U.S. currency. But Lincoln is also a familiar name because he was our 16th president. Beyond his face and name, who was he? What did he do? Where did he grow up? Author Maira Kalman shares a picture book full of historical tidbits about Abraham Lincoln.

Kalman begins with someone recognizing Lincoln then going to the library to discover more about him. The information in the book follows Lincoln's life from his birth in Kentucky to his death at the theater. It's a very compact biography with lots of wonderful highlights. Elementary students reading (or listening) to biographies would enjoy this one.

I listened to the audiobook without paging through the picture book biography. The story flows well without the need for the book, but the book is a fine addition if listeners want to follow along with the CD. It's a very artistic book with illustrations done in gouache. The book also includes additional notes about the facts used in the book as well as sources.

Elizabeth Cottle reads Looking at Lincoln. I enjoyed listening to her voice and appreciated her pacing of the book. The pace was slow enough to contemplate the facts and fast enough to not grow bored with the story. As I stated previously, this would be a good match for elementary students.

Dreamscape added music at the beginning, end, and for a short part during the last third of the book (a dramatic part, talking about the Civil War). The music was well suited to the story - strings, drums, and horns. (If my listening skills are off, fellow listeners, please let me know.) Other sound effects were added throughout the story to highlight different moments - a gunshot, outdoor nature sounds, the "traditional" shh at the library. I don't think the sound effects took away from the storyline. They fit in well and you could hear the the narrator during the sound effects and over the music.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Dreamscape Media, LLC!

Dreamscape Media, LLC

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