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Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country)
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Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  310 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews

Poor Abraham Lincoln! His life was hardly fun at all. A country torn in two by war, citizens who didn’t like him as president, a homely appearance—what could there possibly be to laugh about? And yet he did laugh. Lincoln wasn’t just one of our greatest presidents. He was a comic storyteller and a person who could lighten a grim situation with a clever quip.

This unusual

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 2010)
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Kids growing up in America learn about Abraham Lincoln in school. Well, they learn a few things about him. 16th President, fought slavery, really tall, high hat, that kind of stuff. This book told me something about my favorite president that I didn't know: he was a jokester.

I really enjoyed reading some of the jokes Lincoln told during speeches or in personal conversation. I love that he chose humor to defuse tension, gain attention, or get his message across.

I've always thought that I would'v
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Interesting book about the life of Lincoln, emphasizing how his sense of humor got him through good times and bad. The book is filled with Lincoln's humorous quotes, making me want to search out more of his writings. I didn't know that Lincoln wrote nonsense poems, or that he had a high-pitched voice, which seems odd for someone so tall. I also found it most interesting that he recognized the power of words with regards to the law. My favorite picture was the last one, which shows the statue of ...more
Jun 18, 2014 Ksamiller rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
1) Abraham Lincoln Comes Home, Robert Burleigh, 2008.

2) Abraham Lincoln Comes Home was a perfect fit to the twin text Lincoln Tells a Joke. In Lincoln Tells a Joke, the book focuses on Abe Lincoln’s outgoing personality and great sense of humor. It describes how he used his wit and charm to get through difficult times. The twin historical fiction book focuses on the tribute to Lincoln after his death. It describes the emotions of the boy and his father, as they wait for the train to pass that ca
Jonathan Nonnemacher
Jul 19, 2011 Jonathan Nonnemacher rated it it was amazing
"How Laughter Saved the President" is an extraordinary book showcasing how President Lincoln used humor in all ways of life. Starting even as a young boy, Lincoln would read jokes to his friends in the forest. He used humor to lighten difficult times - and there were many of these in his life. He lost his mother and sister, as well as two of his three sons. The one-liners were so good in this book they were making me snort with laughter - such as Lincoln poking fun at himself, his wife's short s ...more
Lori Spadea
Aug 07, 2011 Lori Spadea rated it it was amazing
This book tells of an amazing side of Abraham Lincoln that not many know. He was funny and he loved to laugh. He told jokes all the time. When he was young, his family taught him to enjoy reading, stories, and joking around. Keeping his sense of humor and laughing helped him get through the loss of his mother. He joked about his awkward appearance, his court cases when he was a lawyer, and even about his wife to be’s uptight family. His sense of humor is what got him through some of the toughest ...more
Aug 23, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this short non-fiction account, but I will say the overwhelming impression I got of Lincoln's life from this book was that it sucked and was depressing most of the time, and that he just managed to laugh even though it was one terrible thing after another. He even laughed as he died. I'm not sure that the title does what the subtitle promises, it doesn't seem to show how laughter saved the country or really got anything done. Maybe it should say how Lincoln laughed until he died laughi ...more
Natalie Ross
Jul 16, 2017 Natalie Ross rated it it was amazing
As a student, I really enjoyed this book. It was very interesting and not boring at all. This book had a lot of facts but the facts were very interesting; some stuff I did not know about Lincoln. As a teacher, this book is a great teaching book for a history lesson.
Michaela Walsh
Title: Lincoln Tells A Joke: How Laughter Saved The President (And The Country)
Author: Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer
Illustrator: Stacy Innerst
Genre: Biography (primary grades)
Theme(s):courage, inspirational, learning, funny
Opening line/sentence: “Most people know that Abraham Lincoln lived in a log cabin, wore a stovepipe hat, wrote the Gettysburg Address, and led America through a terrible war”.
Brief Book Summary: This story is a whole different look at Abe Lincoln for children. This sto
Emily Parker
Mar 18, 2017 Emily Parker rated it really liked it
Lincoln seems to always be portrayed as sad, so it was awesome to read something where he is more human and is happy!
Mar 10, 2014 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Another Lincoln biography? Why not? It seems we cannot get enough of Abraham Lincoln, so Kathleen Krull and husband Paul Brewer have written a short and unusual bio focusing on Lincoln's famous sense of humor. LINCOLN TELLS A JOKE, How Laughter Saved the President (And the Country), is a title so intriguing, it's hard to resist. Stacy Innerst's illustrations fit the subject matter with humorous caricatures in acrylics with gold and yellow tones hinting of aging documents. The jokes and funny qui ...more
Sean Albright
Lincoln tells a Joke by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer

Twin Text: Abe Lincoln at last! By Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca, @2011

Rationale: I selected this picture book to compliment the non-fiction piece because I think it would be neat to learn about a national figure via accurate personal/historical facts and then see that individual portrayed fictionally, knowing what type of person they actually are. The book Abe Lincoln at last!, tells a story of two children who rely on a magic tree to s
Sep 07, 2012 Mrs.Charles rated it liked it
Brewer, P. & Krull, K. 2010. LINCOLN TELLS A JOKE: HOW LAUGHTER SAVED THE PRESIDENT (AND THE COUNTRY). New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780152066390.

Most people know that Abraham Lincoln wore a “stove pipe hat, lived in a log cabin, wrote the Gettysburg Address, and led America through a terrible war.” What we may not have known, which is expressed this unusual biography, is that our sixteenth president loved to laugh and tell funny stories and jokes. “T
A delightful historical story of Abe Lincoln with great illustrations.
Kym Winchester
Feb 26, 2013 Kym Winchester rated it really liked it
Audience: I would recommend this book for students in grades 3rd-6th. This recommendation is due to the fact there are more mature subjects covered in the book, such as slavery and the Civil War. Also, where there is great artwork in this book, there is quite a bit of text, which might make it harder for younger kids to enjoy!

Appeal: I think children who enjoy history or learning about the presidents would enjoy this book. President Lincoln is kind of "in" right now, so kids might enjoy learning
Ruth Ann
Aug 22, 2014 Ruth Ann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile, biography
At my local library, this book was not shelved with the biographies. Hmm - I wonder why?

I grew up in Illinois and my grandmother collected all things Lincoln. I have visited the Lincoln museum in Springfield and I have toured New Salem so I came to this book with a solid background. Nevertheless, i found the presentation of his life unique and interesting. It is known that Lincoln suffered from depression and I agree that his number one coping tool was probably a sense of humor.

Everyone knows t
Apr 21, 2015 Xiaoting rated it it was amazing
Lincoln Tells a Joke

This is interesting book. We all know Abraham Lincoln. He is our sixteenth president. But we do not know that he loved to tell silly storied. read funny books, collect jokes and puns. and laugh. This book show us Abraham Lincoln has rich sense of humor.

This book describe Lincoln the humor from this birth and to death. His childhood was very harsh. He looked homely and he knew it. However, he always keep positive attitude. Some content use the handwriting. This makes book mor
Haley Dowty
Nov 25, 2014 Haley Dowty rated it really liked it
Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer and illustrated byStacy Innerst is a wonderful children's biography about President Abraham Lincoln. This book as all of the factual information about Lincoln's life, where he was born, his journey to become president, and accomplishments as president. It also tells a fun story about how he loved to tell silly stories, collect jokes, and laugh. This would be a great book for children to use ...more
The Reading Countess
Sep 15, 2010 The Reading Countess rated it really liked it
One of the newest books in my school library, I plucked Lincoln Tells a Joke from an overstuffed cart waiting to be shelved. Not yet checked out to anyone, I felt slightly guilty to be getting first crack at the read. Tomorrow I plan to return it so that others might enjoy this entertaining trip back in time.

Told simply with whimsical illustrations by Kathleen Krull, one of my all time favorite authors for all things biographical (written with her husband Paul Brewer), this would make a great in
Amanda Nye
This is a primary book and it is recommended for grades Kindergarten-3rd grade. I would give this book to Natalie as an independent reading book. Although, this book would be a great read aloud!

In Natalie’s interest inventory, she states that should would of liked the opportunity to meet Abraham Lincoln. She also expressed interest in history and jokes. I love this book because it gives historical information in the form of a light-hearted short story. This book tells the life of Abraham Lincoln
Kacie Blakley
Nov 20, 2014 Kacie Blakley rated it it was amazing
How easily we forget that laughter can change anything! Before reading this book, I had no idea that Abraham Lincoln had such a great sense of humor. But now I am even more intrigued with this genius man that saved our country! This book explains how Lincoln used laughter and humor to help him through any situation. It even tells of some of his very own jokes! The illustrations are cartoons and enhance the silliness and wittiness of this man's life. Some of the pictures even have, "Ha ha ha ha.. ...more
This is certainly a mini-bio, really focusing on only one aspect of Lincoln's character, but it's one that's very accessible to children: the guy was funny. For a president who probably did suffer from clinical depression, he was remarkably good at telling jokes and funny stories, and that makes him more human for students. This is aimed at a slightly older audience (mention is made that half his children died before hitting adolescence so this isn't entirely airy; and there is one use of the wo ...more
Patty Marvel
Feb 07, 2011 Patty Marvel rated it really liked it
Came across this children's book while searching for presidential biographies. It's an easy read and it features a rather inspirational story - despite his crappy childhood and later sucker punches life gave him, Lincoln muddled through and made his and others' lives easier with his snappy humor. For example, he once quipped of a fellow lawyer, "That man can pack the most words into the least ideas of any man I know." "Joke" mentions two books Lincoln read as a child - "Quinn's Jest" and "Lesson ...more
Apr 21, 2012 Kimberly.miller rated it really liked it
I thought this book was a clever, new way to view a president of the past. Humor has a place in everyone's life. It would be interesting to have students share stories about a time when laughing helped them feel better. As a child, I remember that my older sister would place her head on my stomach when I would cry. This would bounce her head around (and she would dramaticaly shake her head and tell me that I was causing an earthquake). While it seems silly now, her joke made me stop crying almos ...more
Abraham Lincoln was a brilliant orator, writer, and thinker. He also loved jokes and puns. This book highlights Lincol's sense of humor and how he used it to build relationships with other people and overcome his own depression.

The title is a bit ambitious, since examples of how Lincoln's humor actually saved the country never materialize. Mentioning that the shot that killed Lincoln was probably muffled by the laughter of the play's audience, and possibly Lincoln's own, was morbid.

Quotes from L
Feb 27, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful biography about Abraham Lincoln and his love of humor. We have read several books about this very popular American President and I am surprised that this is the first time we've ever learned about his witty sense of humor and his love of laughter. Who knew he was such a jokester? Not me!

The narrative can easily be read at one time and it is very engaging and entertaining. We all learned a little more about this great man and we really enjoyed reading this book together.
Sep 11, 2013 Shelli rated it it was amazing
When we (my daughter and I) covered the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, two of the things we found most enduring about Lincoln was his wit and how affable he was. He once said "With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh occasionally I should die." Lincoln's humor helped him and the people around him during this dreadful time in our nation’s history. This book did a wonderful job of showing how Lincoln forced himself to laugh through his extremely diffic ...more
Tim Eichorst
Apr 09, 2016 Tim Eichorst rated it it was amazing
This book provides a fascinating and unique look into Abraham Lincoln's life and Presidency. Rather than focusing on the serious nature of his time in office, this book instead focuses on how, in every situation, Lincoln managed to find the bright side. This book uses Lincoln's own humor to highlight the benefits of optimism in the face of opposition. This book would be an excellent read for students who may believe history is a "boring" subject, as it is not simply a list of dates and facts. Hi ...more
Oct 31, 2010 Reader rated it really liked it
First and foremost, what this provides is irrefutable evidence that Lincoln's life was awful. Just awful. Between the depression the war and the dead kids, he could have been forgiven for being a gloomy gus. Instead, he used jokes and laughter to get things done. Krull shows the practical applications of laughter, and how it kept one of our greatest presidents sane and (relatively) cheery. Certainly a new Lincoln picture book bio kids can get behind. - B
May 01, 2016 Paloma rated it liked it
Lincoln tells a joke is a great historical fiction book with great facts as well as a story. Such a great introduction book to one of our greatest presidents. The book gives little interesting facts like how Lincoln used his humor in serious/ hard moments in order to lighten things and remain hope that african americans will be free one day. This story is great for kids to do book reports and really get a small insight into Abraham Lincoln's life.
Mattathias Westwood
Unexpectedly, there was more in here about how depressing much of Lincoln's life was than there was about his jokes-- I expect this is because many of his jokes were topical or dependent on understanding of 19th century culture. So there's more about how he had to help build his mother's coffin when he was 9 and worked hard and hardly ever got to go to school than there is about what jokes he actually told. Still a great angle on Lincoln's life, and the illustrations are amazing.
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