The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln

The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln Cover Image
By Mike Reiss, David Catrow (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9780142404164
Published: Puffin Books - December 28th, 2006

Benjy, whose uncanny resemblance to the 16th president is noticed first by nurses in the delivery room, has endured eight long years of standing out in a crowd. The schoolyard taunts of "Stinkin' Lincoln" and the constant gifts of Lincoln Logs and stovepipe hats have made him weary. He wants to hide in his room all summer, but his parents have other plans. They're sending him to Camp What-Cha-Ma-Call-It: The Camp for Kids Who Look Like Things.

A great premise, and Mike Reiss and David Catrow milk it for all its worth in The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln, a summer camp satire that manages to be both uproariously funny and slyly thoughtful. Benjy is astonished to meet such fellow campers as the kid who looks like the Mona Lisa, the one who looks like a toaster, the twins who look like the Pyramids, and even the boy who looks "like the back of a horse." (Benjy "felt really bad for him" at first, but quickly stops noticing.)

What readers will notice is that at Camp What-Cha-Ma-Call-It acceptance flows like kayaks on the lake. The kid who looks like the Titantic hangs out with the kid who looks like an iceberg. Benjy plays ball with three other kids who look like presidents (which would make the dugout resemble Rushmore.) And there's even someone (a charmingly groomed someone, in fact) for the kid who resembles a horse's patoot.

And, as is true at all good sleepaway camps, the kids bring home not only their dirty, mismatched socks, but also new confidence. Benjy embraces his inner Lincoln with such fervor that he runs for class president-winning on a platform of "more pop, fewer pop quizzes."