Cover Image: Tad Lincoln's Restless Wriggle

Tad Lincoln's Restless Wriggle

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Member Reviews

Narrative nonfiction in a picture book type format introduces a little known presidential offspring, Tad Lincoln. Well researched account of the close relationship between a boy who struggled-with a cleft palate, speech defects, learning disabilities- and his father. Surprisingly interesting, although I wouldn’t expect kids to pick this up on their own. But it could be useful in classroom settings, in conjunction with special needs services providers, and families dealing with physical/neuro atypical children, as it offers a positive spin on high energy, divergent thinkers.
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Young Tad Lincoln's ebullient personality, his father Abraham's accepting and appreciative parenting, and the challenges of Civil War American all come vividly to life in Beth Anderson's deft text and S.D. Schindler's delightful illustrations. The story is fun and relatable for the target age group and contemporary kids with differing abilities will find it relatable and reassuring. The sound factual roots of the story make it a wonderful way to interest young readers in this period and a few of its most significant characters. Highly recommended!
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This is a cute and child-friendly introduction to the youngest son of the Lincolns, Tad. Ultimately his tale is a sad one, but there were some fun things that happened in his life, including the first pardoning of the White House turkey. It's a good choice for beginning to teach young ones about Abraham Lincoln and his family.
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All About Tad Lincoln

In the author's note, she states this book began as one about the tradition of pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey at the White House. But she found Tad Lincoln to be a fascinating subject and so refashioned the story to be about him. It appears as though Tad had a special relationship with his father. The young boy was beset with some problems, likely a partial cleft palate as well as learning difficulties. He was also a rambunctious but kind-hearted boy. This story gives glimpses of all that, and Tad comes across as quite the character with a generous spirit. At the end of the book, the author provides more details about Tad and the Lincolns and even has photographs of the young boy. And yes, while it didn't happen at Thanksgiving turkey, the Lincolns’ Christmas turkey was saved from being eaten by Tad's intervention. He asked his father to spare the turkey, which was like a pet to him. This is a great story about a young boy whom we would call “special needs” today, but a patient father allowed him to be his high-spirited, loving self. Highly recommended.
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Before reading this book, I knew very little about Tad Lincoln, but this lively story fascinated me! The author clearly did exhaustive research on the Lincolns but managed to share these historical facts while keeping the narrative kid-friendly and digestible. Kids will not only learn about a piece of history but also about compassion for animals and the gifts that people with special needs have to offer.
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It is a sweet story about a part of history that is not well known. The story is told in an easy to enjoy and understand way. I think children will enjoy this book.
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This book is lovely and very sweet. It looks at the loving relationship between Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad. Tad is bright, mischievous gives welcome relief to his father. The illustration ares lovely and this book is per the for the classroom and school library.
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Structure and Formatting 4/5
Keeping in mind this is a children's picture book, I just felt like this was a little all over the place. Maybe it will keep children's attentions, but Tad goes immediately from being born to running around the White House. It just felt sudden and abrupt. I blame my adult brain for having issues with that.

Thoroughness of Research 3.5/5
It's always hard to gauge sources and citations in a picture book, but this one in particular left me wondering a little bit. I don't know how much information is available on Tad's short life, but it felt too anecdote-y.

Storytelling/Writing 3.5/5
I'm going to blame my adult brain again for this one. This story seemed to lack a focus or narrative direction. Maybe that works for little kids. Maybe it just reinforces the "restless wriggle" side of Tad. It just didn't have a "beginning to end" feel while reading. The pictures are fantastic in the book though, and they really help to bring what the words are saying to life.

Level of Enjoyment 4/5
This was definitely cute, and it has piqued my interest to try to learn more about Lincoln's kids.

Prior Knowledge Needed 3* (with the addition of the author's notes, I would bump this to a 4)
The author's notes definitely helped to make a more complete picture of Tad's life and the family dynamics going on in his short life. Without that added context, this book just kind of falls flat. The author's note helps fill out the story a little more and could definitely be helpful when sharing this story with young kids who always want to ask "why?" while reading.

Overall 3.6-3.8/5
This was such a cute picture book. I don't know much about Lincoln's kids. I knew he had kids, but for some reason, I never pictured him as a president with young kids in the White House when he was President. This was a fun way to learn about Tad, and by extension Lincoln.
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"I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own." 
I thought it was interesting that this story began with researching the first turkey pardon. Overall I liked the story and I appreciated the interaction between Tad and his father. I wish Tad's abilities had been of more focus than his disabilities, even though they were painted in a favorable light. Overall I think it was a worthwhile read for a living history picture book. This would be a good supplement for history study.
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This book provides a close look at the warm, loving relationship between Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad. The mischievous Tad provided welcome relief to his father and his generous, fun loving spirit was welcomed by soldiers and some visitors to the White House. The illustrations provide a look at the the setting of the story and detail the father-son relationship. Back matter includes an author’s note, photographs of Lincoln and Tad, and a bibliography.
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Such a sweet and heartwarming story! My kids really enjoyed this one! I found it fascinating that the author's original aim was to write a story about the first presidential turkey pardon, yet upon his research, it shifted into a story about Abraham Lincoln's son, Tad. Learning about Tad's personality and the relationship between his father was intriguing, and kept both my, and my children's interest throughout. I especially loved how extensive the sources section was at the end of the book, as opposed to bordering on historical fiction, as several children's book about well known historical figures do. The artwork was fun and vibrant as well.
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A wonderful historical story of the love between Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad. Tad gets up to all kinds of antics that will keep you wanting to turn the page. Laced with fun as well as historical fact, this book is a delight.
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I read this to my boys, 7 & 9, and we all enjoyed the book. It shares a behind-the-scenes glimpse into President Lincoln's family life. I loved seeing President Lincoln's love for his family, how his care for others was picked up by his son, and the importance of putting family first. There's a fun story at the end that gives insight into a tradition today that I have always thought odd... but now understand! I highly recommend! Great for learning history in a fun way.
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