Cover image for Leave it to Abigail : the revolutionary life of Abigail Adams
Leave it to Abigail : the revolutionary life of Abigail Adams
First edition.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 29 cm
Added Author:
Learn about Abigail Adams.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book E 973.4409 ROS 1 1

On Order



In this inspiring tribute, award-winning author Barb Rosenstock and New York Times bestselling artist Elizabeth Baddeley tell the true story of one of America's greatest founding mothers: Abigail Adams.

Everyone knew Abigail was different.

Instead of keeping quiet, she blurted out questions. Instead of settling down with a wealthy minister, she married a poor country lawyer named John Adams. Instead of running from the Revolutionary War, she managed a farm and fed hungry soldiers. Instead of leaving the governing to men, she insisted they "Remember the Ladies." Instead of fearing Europe's kings and queens, she boldly crossed the sea to represent her new country. And when John become President of the United States, Abigail became First Lady, and a powerful advisor.

Leave it to Abigail--an extraordinary woman who surprised the world.

Author Notes

Barb Rosenstock is the author of the Caldecott Honor book The Noisy Paintbox , Otis and Will Discover the Deep , Blue Grass Boy , The Secret Kingdom , and Vincent Can't Sleep , among several others that have received numerous accolades and starred reviews. She lives in Illinois. Elizabeth Baddeley is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling illustrator of such titles as I Dissent , The Cat Who Lived With Anne Frank , An Inconvenient Alphabet , A Woman in the House (and Senate) , Women Who Broke the Rules , and The Good Fight , among others. She lives in Missouri.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3--5--Abigail Adams is depicted as a colonial powerhouse in this admiring, fact-filled picture book biography. She defied expectations right away--by surviving birth. Typical of girls of her era, she learned how to execute domestic chores but received no formal schooling; she devoured her father's library and eavesdropped on adults' conversations. She defied societal expectations that she marry for money rather than love and became the wife of country lawyer John Adams. The like-minded pair eventually moved to Boston, where they raised four children. When her husband traveled to Philadelphia to debate independence, Adams managed the household and engaged in their now-legendary correspondence that supplied him with valuable information and wise counsel, including her famous "Remember the Ladies" admonition. When the American Revolution ended, Adams sailed to Europe to be reunited with her husband, who had been appointed as America's new ambassador. Years later, when he was elected the second president of the United States, she became his most trusted adviser. Back matter features informative author's and illustrator's notes and a bibliography. Thumbnail portraits of 12 renowned women who fought for equality and women's rights, including Susan B. Anthony and Coretta Scott King, exemplify how Adams "left the hope of freedom to America's women." Appealing visual elements include expressive illustrations enhanced by cross-stitch-sampler designs in patriotic colors throughout and on endpapers. VERDICT Highly recommended for public and school collections. Use in American history, women's studies, and biography units.--Carol Goldman, formerly at Queens Library, NY

Publisher's Weekly Review

This biographical picture book bills Abigail Adams as a woman who rose to every challenge. The book's title acts as a refrain as readers see Abigail fly in the face of her era's niceties ("Everyone knew that good girls kept quiet"), manage a complex household and farm on her own during wartime, suggest to her husband rights for America's women, and serve as his closest presidential advisor. The artwork combines elements of cross-stitch needlework with illustrations that have a high-spirited, comic-strip sensibility, and the story moves along briskly as Abigail's life and her loving, often epistolary relationship with John unfolds in tandem with the birth of the new republic. While an author's note acknowledges that Abigail did not believe women should be equal "in the modern sense," both Rosenstock and Baddeley tell her story with plenty of verve and forthrightly feminist swagger. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

A picture-book portrait of an American heroine.A secret scholar, quiet rebel, proto-feminist, staunch advocate for racial equality, unrecognized political powerhouse, and creative problem-solver as well as a farmer, accountant, wife, and mother, Abigail Adams, by her thoughts, actions, and writing, established a strong legacy and solid foundation for numerous American heroines to come. Covering her life from birth to old age, this deceptively simple portrayal presents episodes from her childhood, descriptions of her behind-the-scenes work as the wife of and adviser to the second president of the United States, examples of how she was able to achieve goals unusual for a woman of her time period, and information from her letters to build a clear and evocative picture of her personality, experiences, strengths, and various accomplishments. The energetic illustrations capture the time period nicely, in part by using cross-stitched samplers as backdrops for both text boxes and vignettes. The informative author's note provides accurate and interesting historical context while the illustrator's note calls attention to the artistic decisions that went into some of the book's pictures and design. Overall, a worthy addition to any collection, this shows the link between powerful women of the past and present.An engaging and illuminating depiction of a woman whose story deserves to be known widely. (Picture book/biography. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Rosenstock (Through the Window, 2018) presents the story of an outspoken founding mother in this rollicking primer on the life of Abigail Adams, the second First Lady of the U.S. From a young age, Adams defied expectations of what was "appropriate" for women in the late eighteenth century. While the Revolutionary War was in full swing, she often provided intelligence on military movements. When her husband became involved in politics, she ran the farm and household alone, edited speeches, and entertained foreign dignitaries. Through lively text, the author showcases the ways Adams was ahead of her time. The refrain, "Leave it to Abigail," adds a rhythm to the narrative, making this a good choice to read aloud. Baddeley (I Dissent, 2016) adds humor and panache with her pencil-and-ink illustrations, adding an authentic feel through lovely cross-stitch finishing touches. Author and artist's notes accompany the text, giving more details and describing the impact the subject had on the modern role of women in leadership. A great selection for Women's History Month and Presidents' Day displays.