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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)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  105 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.
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 2010)
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3.93  · 
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 ·  348 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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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 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 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 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 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
With easy to understand and interesting text and beautifully painted illustrations, this nonfiction picture book tells how Abraham Lincoln's sense of humor gave him the strength and fortitude to achieve his goals in politics and become one of this country's most important presidents. The book is organized around the topic of jokes and humor as it looks at examples of witty and clever sayings attributed to Lincoln through the course of his lifetime. A list of resources at the back make this a nic ...more
Lyla Muhlenkamp
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lincoln Tells a Joke is a great reminder in life, that being angry or upset about something will not make the situation any better. Lincoln was a president during the time of war that was tearing the country apart and citizens that didn't like him. However, he still found a way to make his life better and necessary to make it through his life. This book is an interesting book that would go along very well with a history lesson.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
There are already a ton of picture book biographies of Lincoln. This one has an interesting twist, however, by focusing on Lincoln's humor. Not necessarily the best choice if your looking for specific info on Lincoln's life and actions, but a good choice if your looking for a different look at the man.
Alyssa Hunt
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All of us have heard mostly serious stories about Abe Lincoln, but have you ever heard him tell a joke? This book creates an interesting twist on the stories we've heard about Lincoln. It's a good switch up on history.
Jenna Parsons
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is a great read for young readers to understand one of the past presidents. I think that this is a book that is easy to read and doesn't make the readers bored while they are reading. I also like the pictures of this book.
Miss Sarah
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
A picture book biography of Abraham Lincoln and his life. Elementary and up
Laura Bricker
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Learn about Abe Lincoln’s sense of humor! Sounds like he was quite the jokester!
Maria Rowe
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this! I think the text and illustrations are great. I just wish it was longer. Lincoln had a wonderful sense of humor and there's a ton of great quotes by him (that are kid friendly!).
Kelly Niggemann
This book is an unusual biography of Abraham Lincoln that not only tells important things from his life and presidency, but explains how he used his distinctive sense of humor in situations. This book shows how Lincoln was an excellent storyteller, and explains how important it was for him to hang onto his sense of humor and lightheartedness through tough times. This is a good book because it teaches kids that there is more to the presidents than their accomplishments, and it helps to humanize h ...more
Natalie Ross
Jul 16, 2017 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 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 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 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.
Ruth Ann
Aug 22, 2014 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
Kym Winchester
Feb 26, 2013 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
Apr 21, 2015 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
The Reading Countess
Sep 15, 2010 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
Haley Dowty
Nov 25, 2014 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
Kacie Blakley
Nov 20, 2014 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
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