Cover image for Mr. Lincoln's whiskers
Mr. Lincoln's whiskers
Winnick, Karen B.
Personal Author:
Physical Description:
1 volume of print and braille : color illustrations ; 23 x 29 cm.
The true story of Grace Bedell, who suggested that Abraham Lincoln grow a beard.
General Note:
Includes a four-page insert inside back cover.

Text in Braille and English.

Reprint. Originally published by Boyds Mill Press, PA, 1996.
Reading Level:
420 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 2.7 0.5 19057.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.8 2 Quiz: 07976.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E457.2 .W67 2002C Print Braille Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Abraham Lincoln was the first president of the United States to wear a beard. What gave him the idea to grow a beard was a letter he received from an eleven-year-old girl from Westfield, New York, named Grace Bedell. "Dear Sir," she wrote, "...if you will let your whiskers grow I will try to get [my brothers] to vote for you. You would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you..." Here is the true story of the determined girl from Westfield whose letter helped create the image of Lincoln that we have today. Illustrated with oil paintings that capture the look and feel of nineteenth-century America, this charming book will give children a real-life look into our nation's history from a young girl's point of view.

Author Notes

Karen B. Winnick has a keen interest in history, especially Lincoln. A graduate of Syracuse University, she has studied art at New York University, the School of Visual Arts, and in Florence, Italy. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 6^-8. Based on a true incident, this tells the story of 11-year-old Grace Bedell, who wrote to Abraham Lincoln suggesting that he grow whiskers to win himself some presidential votes. Mr. Lincoln writes back, suggesting that perhaps growing a beard so late in life might be an affectation. But later, of course, Lincoln does grow a beard, and in this story, Grace sees the beard when the new president stops in her town and asks to see her, and then gives her a kiss. Although the letter exchange is history (the letters are reproduced on the last page), the rest of the story seems fictionalized, but there is no way to know what's true and what isn't because there are no notes, a major flaw in the book. Oil paintings done in a folk-art style seem deliberately stiff but have a naive appeal. For larger collections or libraries needing books on Lincoln for a younger age group. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

Textured oil paintings accent this account of how a letter from an 11-year-old girl may have provoked Abraham Lincoln to grow his beard. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4‘In 1860, 11-year-old Grace Bedell wrote to presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln suggesting that he grow a beard. Lincoln responded to the letter. On his way to Washington, DC for his inauguration, his train stopped at her hometown and a bewhiskered Lincoln introduced himself to Grace. Too amazing to be true? Well, the letters exist to prove it, and they are reproduced at the end of this interesting picture book. The story is presented simply and with authenticity. Children will identify with this independent young girl. Grace, her large family, and their solid small-town home are depicted in an American folk-art style appropriate to the period. The girl's letter is a perfect example of the manners and speech of that time, and the relationships among the siblings and parents ring true. The greatness and humility of Lincoln are shown as he takes the time to respond to a child and meet her, and, remarkably, accept her advice. Containing a wonderful piece of history beautifully and succinctly presented, this story can be read in groups or individually to entertain and to teach.‘Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library System, Orlando, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.