Tad Lincoln’s Restless Wriggle: Pandemonium and Patience in the President’s House


Tad Lincoln’s restless wriggle just wouldn’t quit, much to the delight of his father President Abraham Lincoln — but not so much to anybody else! This picture book is based on the famous first son who, despite a disability and other challenges, had compassion, intelligence, and wisdom beyond his years.

Tad Lincoln’s boundless energy annoyed almost everyone but his father, President Abraham Lincoln. But Tad put that energy to good use during the tough times of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln guided Tad’s wriggle on visits to hospitals, to the telegraph office, and to army camps. Tad greeted visitors, raised money for bandages, and kept his father company late into the night. This special and patient bond between father and son was plain to see, and before long, Tad had wriggled his way into the hearts of others as well. Beth Anderson and S.D. Schindler follow Tad’s antics during the Civil War to uncover the generous heart and joyful spirit that powered Tad Lincoln’s Restless Wriggle.

Available at a bookseller near you and Amazon • Barnes & Noble • IndieBoundBookshop.org • Books a Million


Educator Guide


Educator Guide Supplement by Carole Lee Dean for use with STORY FRAMES FOR TEACHING LITERACY.



Anderson’s lively text offers anecdotes along with insights into how Tad’s high-spirited escapades may have given Lincoln welcome relief from his weighty responsibilities. Created using ink, watercolor, and gouache, Schindler’s lively illustrations bring a lesser-known White House resident to life within a distinctive period setting. A vivid introduction to Tad Lincoln. ~Booklist

Thomas “Tad” Lincoln was by all accounts rambunctious… Readers fascinated by this glimpse into Tad’s story will want to know more, and caregivers and educators will delight in the extensive bibliography and source notes that will aid that exploration. A lively glimpse into the Lincoln home.  ~Kirkus 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars — Young Tad Lincoln’s ebullient personality, his father Abraham’s accepting and appreciative parenting, and the challenges of Civil War America 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!   ~NetGalley

“…Anderson skillfully shows the relationship Lincoln had with his son and how they were drawn even closer together after the death of Lincoln’s son Willie. She includes stories of Tad’s antics in front of adults and his empathy for others, both of which lifted the President’s spirits during wartime. The text reads aloud smoothly. S.D. Schindler’s use of India ink, transparent inks, watercolor, and gouache illustrations are light and delightful… Pair this with Barbara Kerley’s What to Do About Alice? How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy! (Scholastic 2008) and Laurie Coulter’s When John and Caroline Lived in the White House (Hyperion 2000) for a rollicking President’s Day celebration of children growing up in the White House… Recommended.”     ~School Library Connection


Winner of the 2023 Young Readers Award from The Colonial Dames of America 

Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year from 2021

Blog Articles and Interviews:

Mining for Heart: “Heart in Action – Louder than Words”

Nerdy Book Club: Seeing Goodness    

“Seeing the human side of the past”: An Interview with Nonfiction Writer Beth Anderson from SLJ

Kirby Larson’s Friend Friday blog – Writing about a child in history

Unpacking the Power of Picture Books, interview with Sandy Brehl

Interview on Tad Lincoln’s speech and language disabilities with SLP Carolee Dean

The Book Journey on Kathy Temean’s blog Writing and Illustrating 

Perfect Picture Book Buzz interview with Maria Marshall, and Perfect Picture Book Friday post

The Intentional Emotional Roller Coaster on GROG BLOG – writing the emotional arc 

Picture Book Builders interview with Andrea Wang

Review from Unpacking the Power of Picture Books

Carol Baldwin’s Blog Interview and Review

Audio Resources:

Teaching Books Meet the Author Recording


Hardcover | $18.99
Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills & Kane
Oct 05, 2021 | 40 Pages | 7-10 years | ISBN 9781635923155

For signed copies of my books, visit The Wandering Jellyfish HERE.