Lincoln Tells a Joke

Lincoln Tells a Joke : How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country)

3.92 (322 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author)  , Illustrated by 

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Poor Abraham Lincoln! His life was hardly fun at all. A country torn in two by war, citizens who didn't like him as president, a homely appearance--what could there possibly be to laugh about? And yet he did laugh. Lincoln wasn'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.
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.
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Product details

  • 9-12
  • Hardback | 32 pages
  • 210.82 x 279.4 x 12.7mm | 544.31g
  • Harcourt Children's Books
  • Boston, MA, China
  • English
  • Illustrations, color
  • 015206639X
  • 9780152066390
  • 1,377,404

Review quote

* Children will be drawn in by the straightforward prose, and librarians will enjoy sharing the book aloud. Innerst s colorful and unconventional acrylic illustrations cover the entire page and are the perfect complement to both the text and the subject matter, making this a standout biography.
School Library Journal, starred review

* Readers will smile, too, at this lighthearted look at Lincoln and the many droll quotations attributed to him.
Publishers Weekly, starred review

Laughter is not only good medicine. It can also be a political tool, human motivator, and saving grace, as the authors show in this upbeat overview of Lincoln s life.

Innerst s gorgeous, textured paintings, many of them caricatures, are varied and inventive: When Lincoln s great height is described in the text, his head and feet are cropped off the page. It s a quirkily specific biography, but, as with Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora s wonderful George Washington s Teeth, illustrated by Brock Cole (2003), it reveals the human side of an American icon in an unusual, lively and thought-provoking way.
Kirkus Reviews

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About Kathleen Krull

Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer are a husband-and-wife writing team known for bringing, friendly, humorous, and well-researched nonfiction to young readers. They live in San Diego, California. You can visit their websites at and

Stacy Innerst, an award-winning editorial artist and the illustrator of several picture books, has long had an interest in Lincoln and the Civil War. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can visit his website at
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Rating details

322 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 28% (89)
4 43% (138)
3 24% (77)
2 5% (17)
1 0% (1)
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