ABRAHAM LINCOLN COMES HOME
by Robert Burleigh
Two picture-book veterans choose a unique way of demonstrating President Lincoln’s impact upon the people of the United States. Rather than focusing on his life, they tell the tale of Lincoln’s funeral train, which traveled over 1,600 miles from Washington to Springfield, Illinois. Young Luke goes with his father late one night to stand by the railroad tracks bisecting a prairie so that they might pay their respects, along with other mourners gathered in the gloom. The simply told story conveys both the sorrow of those gathered to see the train as well as the boy’s comprehensive impression of the event. Minor’s magisterial watercolors are beautifully executed, particularly one image that superimposes Lincoln’s face across the predawn sky; interesting changes in perspective and historical details add to the atmosphere. While the boy and his father look a bit contemporary, this quiet, lovely book sensitively communicates a sense of the magnitude of loss felt by so many. The contemplative story is supported by an afterword and “interesting facts” about the train’s journey through the grieving nation.
From THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Moving prose and dramatic night scenes show them as part of a grieving yet grateful nation, paying homage to a fallen hero.
From THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
A moving portrait of a cultural moment, before the age of 24/7 electronic media, when tribute was paid to the slain president by those who turned out to see the train pass. Text and pictures convey the watchers' sense of solemnity.
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