Synopses & Reviews
In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America's children.
Breathtaking, evocative illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Long at once capture the personalities and achievements of these great Americans and the innocence and promise of childhood.
This beautiful book celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans, from our nation's founders to generations to come. It is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths. It is a treasure to cherish with your family forever.
"Already the author of two books for adults, President Obama turns toward young Americans with this picture book tribute to 13 men and women — and corresponding qualities of character — that demonstrate the nation's best. Written before he took office, the book directly addresses daughters Sasha and Malia, who appear throughout, joined by young versions of Georgia O'Keeffe, Helen Keller, Sitting Bull (a selection that's already generating controversy), Neil Armstrong, and the rest — a tangible reminder that every hero, artist, and explorer was once a child. Obama asks a series of questions, followed by poetic descriptions of each famous American. 'Have I told you that you don't give up?' appears opposite Martin Luther King, Jr., hands joined in solidarity with civil rights supporters; 'Have I told you to be proud to be American?' accompanies a winter scene of General George Washington encouraging a trio of soldiers ('He helped make an idea into a new country, strong and true'). On the left side of each spread, the growing chorus of children faces Long's paintings — by turns majestic, whimsical, and rousing — as though watching history unfold. The group is highly diverse, both in backgrounds and accomplishments, creating a collective portrait of citizens' inspiration, dedication, and bravery. Ages 3 – up. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"If Barack Obama wants to quit his day job (and maybe he might), he can probably make it as a children’s book author. Certainly, this is a beautiful package: thoughtfully conceived, handsomely illustrated and designed, and with a tight yet evocative text that brings children into the world of 13 famous Americans. Framed as a letter to his daughters (“Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?” the book begins), each double-page spread then asks a question that is exemplified by a person of note. “Have I told you that you are creative?” introduces Georgia O’Keeffe, who “helped us see big beauty in what is small: / the hardness of stone and the softness of feather.” Most of the people briefly profiled are expected names — George Washington, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, César Chávez — but there are a few outliers here as well, including Billie Holiday and Sitting Bull. As the spreads turn, other children join (the unnamed) Malia and Sasha on the question page, each embodying their own special gifts and talents. Long’s exceptional artwork has a timeless, Rockwellian quality that serves the text well, and the congregation of the children at the book’s conclusion will have readers looking and looking again. An addendum features a bit more about each person highlighted. Parents will be happy to talk to their own children about how creative or kind or strong they are and reiterate, as the president does, their place in the American family. Booklist, starred review
In this letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation.
About the Author
Barack Obama is the forty-fourth president of the United States. Born in Hawaii to a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya, he himself is now the father of two daughters, Malia and Sasha. It was spending time with them that inspired him to write Of Thee I Sing
. President Obama's proceeds will be donated to charity.
Loren Long is the bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator of many beloved books for children, including Drummer Boy and the New York Times bestseller Otis. Born in Missouri and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, he is also the illustrator of Watty Piper's The Little Engine That Could, as well as Toy Boat, I Dream of Trains, and Wind Flyers. He lives in Ohio with his wife, Tracy, their two sons, Griffith and Graham, and their dogs, Elle and Moon.