Friday, December 28, 2012

Abe Lincoln's Dream

There are several reasons to end 2012 with a post on the picture book, Abe Lincoln's Dream, by author Lane Smith. One is to learn about Abe's dream, another is for the hope I felt as I read. Check out the Kirkus review.

First of all, during this month of December it's seemed entirely possible to feel a lack of hope, for instance, about solving issues such as the culture of violence in America, our troubled schools, and the safety of children. But we can't allow it.

This lovely, amusing and wise story, that adults will enjoy over and over, reminds us that in nations, important change can happen, it just doesn't happen overnight.

Smith provides an historical view of change and what has been accomplished in America over one hundred and fifty years, through dialog between Abe Lincoln's ghost and a contemporary little girl named Quincy. She encounters him when she strays away from her White House tour.

First Abe warms things up by walking through a wall. Then he tells jokes. "Do you know how long a man's legs should be?" Abe asks little Quincy. "Long enough to reach the floor," he says.

After several jokes, Abe wants Quincy's help catching up on a few things.

"Are the states united?"He asks. He learns that they are.

Quincy tells Abe that equality for all is ". . . getting better all the time."

Does man ". . . fuss and fight with his fellow man?" he asks.

We know that fussing and fighting will never stop, but hearing Quincy tell Abe, "We're still working on that one," gives us some hope that our elected officials and ordinary Americans are still trying. After all, as writers know, it's the process that is important, to keep trying and never give up. The well-being of our children is, after all, at stake.

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