"L Is for Lincoln: An Illinois Alphabet"

L Is for Lincoln: An Illinois Alphabet (Alphabet Books)


Book: L Is For Lincoln: An Illinois Alphabet

Author: Kathy-jo Wargin

Illustrator: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press, republished in 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1-58536-016-1 (hardcover)

ISBN-10: 1-58536-016-3 (hardcover)

ISBN-13: 978-1-58536-250-9 (paperback)

ISBN-10: 1-58536-250-6 (paperback)

Related website: www.sleepingbearpress.com (publisher)

Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Wargin, Kathy-jo. L Is For Lincoln: An Illinois Alphabet (published in 2000 by Sleeping Bear Press, an imprint of Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, 310 N. Main St., Ste. 300, Chelsea, MI 48118). Most everyone knows, or should know, that Abraham Lincoln, born in Kentucky and raised in Indiana, was elected president from the state of Illinois. But do you know when and where the world’s very first Ferris Wheel was seen? L Is for Lincoln uses rhyming text by author Kathy-jo Wargin, which will appeal to children, along with striking prints of paintings by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen, to go through the alphabet from A to Z and reveal various interesting facts, many historical, some geographical, and others scientific, all about the state of Illinois. For example, “A is for the Arrowheads hiding in the ground, special tools from long ago waiting to be found.” And did you know that the oldest zoo in the United States is the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL? By the way, the first Ferris Wheel ever seen was at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, also known as the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. I saw this book in a Cracker Barrel restaurant, so I picked it up since we live in Illinois.

After reading it, my first thought was, “I wonder what the one for Ohio is?” Ohio is my home state. And then I remembered. Years ago, when we lived in Ohio and our older son was studying Ohio history, my wife found B Is for Buckeye in the library. These are part of a 51 book series of state alphabet books, beginning with A Is for America, and including B Is for Beaver (Oregon), B is for Bluegrass (Kentucky), B Is for Badger (Wisconsin), C Is for Cowboy (Wyoming), C Is for Centennial (Colorado), E Is for Empire (New York), G Is for Golden (California), G Is for Grand Canyon (Arizona), H Is for Hoosier (Indiana), K Is for Keystone (Pennsylvania), L Is for Last Frontier (Alaska), L Is for Lobster (Maine), L Is for Lone Star (Texas), M Is for Magnolia (Mississippi), M Is for Maple Syrup (Vermont), M Is for Mayflower (Massachusetts), M Is for Mitten (Michigan), P Is for Palmetto (South Carolina), P Is for Peach (Georgia), S Is for Sunshine (Florida), and V Is for Volunteer (Tennessee). In addition to the verses on each page, there are sidebar explanations with further details, and a page of Illinois trivia in the back. Parents who are concerned with the evolutionary influences in books will want to know that there are three references to things that supposedly happened “millions of years ago.” Otherwise, it is a charming book.

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