Monday, December 27, 2010

President Obama's New Book in Honor of His Daughters

    On November 16, Knopf Books for Young Readers released President Barack Obama's children's book entitled Of Thee I Sing. It is beautifully illustrated by Loren Long, who also wrote and illustrated books such as Otis and Drummer Boy. In this Washington Post article, President Obama visited an Arlington, VA library to read aloud his book (along with a read aloud of Twas the Night Before Christmas.)  He was very personable with the children as he shared this book he wrote in 2008, prior to being elected to be the President. All proceeds from the sales will go to a scholarship fund set up for children of fallen and disabled soldiers called the Fisher House.

Beautiful Illustration by Loren
Long for President Obama's
book Of Thee I Sing (Knopf Books
for Young Readers, 2010)

     The book starts out with this question: "Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?" As you can see in the Associated Press clip introduction below, President Obama states his inspiration for his book began as a letter to his wonderful daughters. It led him to think of thirteen famous people in history who embodied the same character traits that Malia and Sasha display. The President uses lyrical language to explain the given famous historical figures and their traits. President Obama's sincere adoration of his daughters is quite evident in his writing.   

     In this presentation video from Random House/Knopf Books for Young Readers, illustrator Loren Long discusses the text and its powerful message that he helped to convey in his talented illustrations. It's a wonderful, short clip to show before reading the book aloud with the class.

      There is so many ways to build this text into a lesson, from characterization, main idea and supporting details, "golden threads" of well crafted writing, a strong lead and ending, multiculturalism, citizenship, and more. Be sure to check out Loren Long's website and his other books. I highly recommend it! :)  


  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this book and am psyched that you blogged about it! Hearing him embrace his daughters (and well, all of his readers too!) with words is inspiring, and a shows a very gentle side of our president. This book was on my "must share" list this year!

  2. Katie, I completely agree! :) I'm so glad to see that you get as passionate and excited about great books as I do! Excitement is infectious, and the children thrive off of yours! :)

  3. Another great post about this book!