Big Birthdays! Picture Books about Darwin and Lincoln

This post is by no means comprehensive–that would be impossible. I am merely  presenting a few of my favorite picture books on two of my favorite figures in history–Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln–in honor of their birthday.

I love Matthew Trueman’s illustrations and I wish he’d do more books. I’m glad he illustrated One Beetle Too Many by Katherine Lasky, though. Lasky knows how to present nonfiction to young readers and this book is beautiful. It feels like a little field guide or research journal.

The Humblebee Hunter by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Jen Corace is a lovely accessible introduction to Darwin, and science, for very young readers. It’s basically an anecdote from Darwin’s life, but it encapsulates so much.  You know Jen Corace from Little Pea, Little Hoot, Mathilda and the Orange Balloon, and lots of other cute stuff. But she’s also really good at capturing the nineteenth century with lots of charm. Sadly, The Humblebee Hunter is out of print. You can get it used, though, and you should!

There are so many Abe Lincoln biographies it’s hard to choose. But here are two favorites. Certainly the D’aulaire’s Caldecott medal-winner is worth a look:

And, it’s hard to resist Maira Kalman’s unique perspective:

And just put a nice little bow around this present, here’s a beautiful book by Adam Gopnik. Angels and Ages combines both of these figures and it’s a perfect gift for your valentine! Do you favorite nonfictions books on these figures or any others that share their birthday? Leave them in the comments!

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