Lane Smith’s (Grandpa Green, It’s a Book) latest picture book, Abe Lincoln’s Dream, is another touching achievement in children’s lit. He has once again created a book that is both funny and tender without being overly sappy.
In the book, little Quincy wanders away from her White House tour and discovers the ghost of Lincoln standing over the Gettysburg Address. She discovers that he’s worried because there was still so much work to do after 1865. Lincoln tells her about a reoccurring dream he has where he is on a fast-moving vessel heading towards an unknown shore, a metaphor for his hopes for America.
The pair takes a journey together and Quincy fills Lincoln in on all the progress made since his time. She informs him that the states are united and that equality for all is getting better all the time. Though Quincy acknowledges that we are not perfect, she tells Lincoln, “…I think overall the founding fathers would be proud of our progress…” By the end of the book, Lincoln’s worries are eased and the two part ways. Later that night Quincy dreams of a satisfied Lincoln on a ship moving rapidly toward the rising sun.
Smith’s illustrations feel like a mix modern and 19th century illustration and typeface. The muted colors with blue and red accents are perfect for this patriotic story. It’s a great picture book to ease into a discussion of Lincoln and his challenges as president.
To further explore Abe Lincoln’s Dream, download the activity guide for projects to do at home and in the classroom.