One evening in 1865 President Abraham Lincoln sits quietly in the White House. He is waiting for his wife, Mary. Tonight they will go to the theater to see a play. It has been a long time since the President has allowed himself an evenings of rest.
While he waits, he thinks back on his life and the long journey from a small log cabin in Kentucky to the stately White House in Washington, a journey filled with the greatest joys and the deepest sorrows.
Extraordinarily moving text and stunning, historically accurate painting join together to present a fictional portrait of one of the revered figures in American history
From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - Dec. 4, 2000:
Minors (Red Fox Running) stately, life-like paintings and Turners (Learning to Swim) anecdotal narrative -- written in the conversational voice of Lincoln -- shape an insightful portrait of this leader. The author chronologically organizes the text into accessible vignettes, each accompanied by a finely detailed illustration, marked by sharp, nearly photographic definition. Turner emphasizes Lincolns fascination with words and learning with well-chosen similes (as a lawyer, I practiced my cases out loud as I walked,/learning how to use words/like a leading rein on a colt/to take people where I wanted), and stresses his early commitment to end slavery, his unwavering ethics and his profound anguish at the destruction and death caused by the Civil War. Cheerful moments inject some levity into the volume, as when Lincoln describes Mary Todd, the woman who would become his wife (She was bright and brave/like a flag cracking in the wind,/all color, rustle, and shine), and his son Tads habit of driving his cart and goats through the White House hall. This well-rounded volume ends on an affecting, ironic note: As Lincoln and his wife wait to go see a play, he thinks back on his childhood log cabin, reflecting on how much has come to pass since then. How much there is still to be done.
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