Synopses & Reviews
This is a journey that began in many places.
It began in Kansas, home of Barack's mother. It began in Africa, home of Barack's father. It began in Hawaii one moonlit night, the night that Barack was born.
Sometimes it was a lonely journey. Sometimes it was an enchanted journey. But throughout this most unusual ride, this boy often wondered: Who am I? Where do I belong?
Jonah Winter and AG Ford re-create the extraordinary story behind the rise of the inspirational icon Barack Obama in this stunning picture book.
"This most recent picture book about a 2008 presidential candidate (see Reviews, Aug. 11 for more books on the subject) could serve as an object lesson in haste: the publisher has said that Winter (Frida) turned the text around in two weeks and, unfortunately, it shows. Known for his clarity and lively prose, the author punctuates this biography with clichs. Barack Obama's life is framed as a 'journey' through a complicated childhood to 'unimaginable heights' (Winter doesn't specify those heights until an endnote, which centers on Obama's presidential campaign). At first Winter depends heavily on existential questions ('Where do I belong?' 'Who am I?'), but these are poorly suited to the target audience, and some of his answers are glib. For example, discussing Obama's biracial background, he writes: 'So what did that make Obama? For Caucasians, it simply made him 'black.' For some African Americans, though, it made him less African American.' Debut artist Ford deserves credit for executing more than 20 paintings in only months; however, his figures are often distorted or strained. Ages 4 7." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Jonah Winter is a poet and the award-winning author of many picture books for children, including Muhammad Ali
, illustrated by François Roca; Roberto Clemente
, illustrated by Raúl Colón; Frida
, illustrated by Ana Juan; and Dizzy
, illustrated by Sean Qualls, which was praised by School Library Journal
: Winter's "lively writing pops with energy and begs to be read aloud." It was seeing and hearing Barack Obama at a historic rally in Birmingham, Alabama, that inspired Winter to write this loving tribute.
AG Ford is the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Barack by Jonah Winter and Michelle and First Family by Deborah Hopkinson. He is the recipient of an NAACP Image Award. AG lives in Dallas, Texas.