Friday, January 25, 2013
Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman
Many of the bright paintings in the book made an appearance in 2009 in Kalman's illustrated column for the New York Times online, where she wrote about her fascination with Abraham Lincoln. More images are also at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
Most pages in Looking at Lincoln have only a few sentences, choice facts about his amazing life. I learned that he went to school for only one year, and then taught himself after that.
"One day he was kicked in the head by a mule. He slept for two days. Then he woke up and grew up and decided to be a lawyer. (He did like to argue.)"
A similar thing happened to Sir James Hector when he was on an expedition through the Canadian Rockies in 1858. Hector was kicked unconscious by a horse and believed dead, which is how Kicking Horse Pass on the Alberta/B.C. border got its name. Hector went on to live many years in New Zealand afterwards, where his name is still quite famous... but probably not on par with Lincoln.
Kalman has made a whimsical addition to the "over 16,000 books" already written about Lincoln. Great for all ages, from preschoolers to adults.