If you watched that slideshow/film showing all my book covers you might have noticed "Lincoln and his Boys" at the end.
It's a wonderful novel by Rosemary Wells dealing with the close loving relationship that Lincoln had with his sons, Willie and Tad.
I learned a lot from Rosemary's story, and from all the research I did into the subject. And the more I read about Lincoln, the more I liked and admired him.
Rosemary and I even took a trip together to Springfield, Illinois to visit Lincoln's home and the Presidential Museum and Library there.
It was great to see the exact carpet or curtains or wallpaper that Lincoln and his family knew. Unfortunately the fashion then was for very garish colours and extravagant patterning.
I was able to do lots of other really useful research, including a visit to the Railway Depot that has been preserved as it was the day that Lincoln and his family departed Springfield for Washington.
Too much research can be a bad thing though. It can get in the way of making a good simple and striking illustration.
When you have read all those books and photographed all those settings, it can be very hard to choose to leave a lot of extraneous stuff out. I'm too close to the book to tell how successful or otherwise I was with my pictures. In ten years time I'll be able to decide.
I only had to do fifteen or so plates for this book, but I had enough material for fifty pictures, and there were so many scenes that I really wanted to show.
I suspect I will have to revisit the fascinating subject of Abraham Lincoln in some way in the future.
Rosemary is best known for writing and illustrating for younger children, but this book shows her tremendous talent as a novelist.
The book is published in the USA in January 2009.