Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review - Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
by Barack Obama
illustrated by Loren Long
Date: 2010
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I saw this book at the library, and I was curious.  President Obama as a children's book author?  It was only forty pages, so I decided to give it a shot.

This is a sweet little book that celebrates a father's love for his daughters while imparting a sense of history and national pride.  Since I'm not an American, I was a little nervous, wondering if it would have an overly patriotic vibe.  But it didn't.  It manages to proudly share the stories of some of the country's most notable historical figures while not going overboard with the patriotism.

I absolutely loved the illustrations in this book.  They're adorable, yet not cutesy, which makes the book suitable for boys as well as girls.  There are even a couple of illustrations of the first family's dog, Bo, which are super cute.

There is a section at the end that gives a little more information about each of the historical figures, so kids who are interested in one or more of these people could use this book as a starting point for learning more.  All in all, it's a nice little book that imparts some information and helps American kids learn about their history... with beautiful illustrations to highlight the experience.

Quotable moment:

Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?
How the sound of your feet
running from afar
brings dancing rhythms to my day?
How you laugh
and sunshine spills into the room?

Recommended to: kids who are interested in historical figures; anyone who appreciates well-illustrated children's books

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.83 out of 5

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