Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters


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Former president Barack Obama delivers a tender, beautiful letter to his daughters in this picture book illustrated by the award-winning Loren Long (Otis) that's made to be treasured!

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375835278
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 11/16/2010
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 55,600
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 12.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
Age Range: 6 - 8 Years

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.

About the Illustrator

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.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"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. — Ilene Cooper"—Booklist, starred review

Customer Reviews

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Of Thee I Sing 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 302 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In response to the September 22, 2010 post entitled, "Earnings donated???": The book's title does not come from the song "America the Beautiful" (whose lyrics are "O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain..."), but instead from the song "America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)". The lyrics of that song are: "My country,' tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;" In this lyric, "of thee I sing" is referring to "my country" not to God. So he is writing about 13 individuals who he feels represent the spirit of America. Also, according to an Associated Press article (see Yahoo News for a reprint of the article): "The president will donate any author proceeds to "a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled soldiers serving our nation," the publisher said in a statement." Thank you to the reviews that have focused on the contents of the book and the facts. Those reviews are helpful in determining whether or not to purchase this book.
S_L More than 1 year ago
I read this book over the weekend and was struck by the fascinating American figures President Obama chose for inclusion in his work. His choices could lead to some wonderful conversations with children. The book is also beautifully written and illustrated. I also must mention to the "anonymous" reviewer who wrote the negative comments that President Obama actually wrote this book BEFORE he became president. Perhaps a little research is in order before one chooses to go on such rants. Just a suggestion!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is it so bad to take a little time out to uplift the lives of children? "Obama agreed with Random House in 2004 to write a children's book, which, according to the publisher, he completed before he became president. "Of Thee I Sing" is part of a $1.9 million, three-book deal with Random House reached in 2004, according to a disclosure report filed in 2005, when Obama was a U.S. senator from Illinois. The other two books were nonfiction."
minnie52 More than 1 year ago
Please leave the negative, hateful, personal comments on your negative, hateful blogs. And PLEASE get the truth from a reliable source (not Faux News)before you start spouting off. This is a forum for people who enjoy actually reading books and giving others honest reviews. This sounds like a beautiful letter to his daughters to let them know how proud he is to be an American and how proud he is of the people who came before him to help shape this country.
Anatole_France More than 1 year ago
Given the publication date date of this book is only today, November 16th, 5 hours old EST, the fact that there are already several dozen reviews of it is remarkable. The ratings of these reviewers are either 1-star or 5-stars ... either Wonderful or Despicable. Dichotomous. No nuances there. Either you're with us or against us. This is a microcosm of what's happened to American society and culture in the last two decades. We've been polarized by the mainstream media and partisan, reactionary politics. We've become ravenous to pounce on any target of opportunity: to hate, to denigrate and decry. We can no longer accept a sincere address to young schoolchildren beginning a new year of study, or respect a father's sincere tribute to his daughters for what it is: an expression of love for two beautiful children who will never again be able to work out their adolescent tribulations in anonymity. Bless them both. My heart if heavy, weighed down by the vitriol of those who hate the Obama family and cannot understand a father's love for Sasha and Melia. I will order copies to send to my granddaughters for Christmas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written book for children. It points out some wonderful Americans who sent a great example for children. These Americans are diverse and from all walks of life ... showing children anyone can be a hero. The illistrations are beautiful as well.
Bearlyretired More than 1 year ago
What is wrong with us. Everything is under suspicion. Can't we believe that there are parents who love their children for no other reason that they are the light of our lives? Way to go President Obama...teach us all about the important things in our life. Remember our past and celebrate the now and look forward to making the future the kind we want it to be.
EH-TX More than 1 year ago
Every parent should be so loving as to write a story entitled "of Thee I Sing' -- the double-meaning is touching and inspirational for American families. The hateful, mean-spirited people who are making vicious comments are sad souls who appear to be incapable of appreciating a book like this. I feel sorry for them.
Dr-D More than 1 year ago
After reading my neighbor's copy, I am now buying this beautiful, thoughtful book for every child on my Christmas list -- and a few of the adults as well. The uplifting message of the book, as well as the obvious love for family and country, will not only benefit children but may also comfort their parents through this period of economic stress and political ugliness. The patriotism and faith that America will always overcome setbacks and even failures radiates from every page.
coachblondie More than 1 year ago
At first I thought the price was a bit high, if it was a child's book. I didn't know what to expect but when I opened it I wanted to cry. The illustrations captured the feeling of togetherness as one nation under God. It is beautifully illustrated. Well worth the purchase.
LaurLM More than 1 year ago
Very well done, touching, and beautiful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey Idiots! The book was written before he took office. If you're going to criticize him, at least base it off fact.
Empowered7 More than 1 year ago
I'm thrilled at learning of the book's production and am looking forward to receiving my copy! As a military brat of a retired Vietnam Vet myself, I believe this is a very honorable and timely gesture. Just goes to prove that the American people were right this time in their choice of president - someone who we can all be very confident in and proud of.
TexRogers More than 1 year ago
Politics comes into play with some folks,but, this really is a beautiful book with a awesome message. I hope that people who dislike President Obama's choices in office will not cast aside this book without taking a look first. The pictures are out of sight. I agree with some of the other reviewers that some of the examples of great Americans seem kind of strange, but I appreciate the sentiments behind all of them, and I think this book could inspire young readers to read in school and find out more about some of these people. I like that there is a short bio of each person in the back of the book, as I did not know who some of the people were. the bottom line of the book is that our country is made up of all types of people and that we all bring different talents and ideas to the table. Some of the writing is really beautiful, but some of it does seem a little stilted, and some of the word choices make me wonder what age group this book was really written for. Just a point to note, President Obama wrote this book before he was in office and 100% of the profits are being donated to a charity for the children of disabled veterans. I enjoyed the book. Tex
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just purchased and read Of Thee I Sing for my godchildren. With the many reviews I have read prior to my purchase, I would have never picked up this book. It is a sad commentary that this country has become so hostile, mean, incredibly ignorant and down-right nasty that we can no longer choose and read a book that the president has written not only for his daughters but for the daughters of this country. I am becoming ashamed of the fact that ignorance truly is bliss in this country. Grow up America. This book is is a gift for your children. While you're at it, gather some history of this country for yourselves. Greatness won't come this way again for a long time.
elijahsdad08 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
looks like you are the only one that thinks its ridiculous...know the facts before making negative comments, THANKS :) GREAT READ!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm assuming that people who are rating this book one star are basing their opinion solely on their political beliefs and not the content of the book. If you actually took the time to look past your own ignorance, you might respect and even appreciate this book, as he does creatively explain the greatness of this country. This book is beautifully written and illustrated and tells an important message. And, for those that think he should be working on other things, if you actually read before judging, you would know that he wrote this book BEFORE he was in office. Please stop being so judgemental and just give credit where credit is due - this book is inspirational and displays a positive message for children - who doesn't want their own child to read a book like that?
bookballoon More than 1 year ago
Of Thee I Sing is not only Obama's loving letter to his daughters, it is a touching tribute to our nation. The Americans the president highlights are interesting, inspiring, and well-chosen models for our children. Long's illustrations are engaging and lively, as always. Perfect choice to remind us of the ties that bind us and the values we want to pass on to the next generation. I'm buying one for myself, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, I decided to buy it and inscribe a personal message inside to my own little girls. This book was very inspirational. Each person depicted contributed to the fabric of this country in their own way. The book is about challenges, triumphs, and perseverance. It is a story that we all can relate to. The illustrations are vivid and poignant. I loved the book and the fact that it celebrates the accomplishments of every American from all walks of life! Kudos to the author, one of which just happens to be the President of the United States.
Mayakins More than 1 year ago
Seems to me most people bashing this book are just expressing their own resentment towards the president, and haven't actually read the book! And, BTW, "1951", the proceeds DO go to charity - a charitable organization known as the Fisher House Foundation to be used for a scholarship fund for children of fallen and disabled soldiers. And the manuscript was completed BEFORE he took office, so the work wasn't taking him away from his "presidential duties". And BTW, when did it become the case that Presidents can't pursue any hobbies or other personal activities?!
Funtoread More than 1 year ago
Hard to review a book that's not yet released, but I am looking forwards to reading it. The President wrote this book before taking office and it's great that Random House is publishing it now - the country needs more positive inspiration and the sooner it is published the sooner all author proceeds will go to scholarships for children of wounded and fallen soldiers. How can one not be inspired by a tribute to great Americans? President Obama is an accomplished author and Loren Long is a wonderful illustrator.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only thing ridiculous is the person who thinks that this book is ridiculous. I commend the President for having the compassion to write such a book. As a parent, I will make sure that I read this to my children.
fafinette79 More than 1 year ago
Who cares what the author is doing in office, at his house, at his job, or anything else. This is a book about how a father loves and supports his children while teaching at the same time. The book is factual and is a great way for children to learn while feeling good about themselves. I purchased this book to read to the kids I teach to on military bases, who have parents that are risking their lives everyday for this country (like my husband). Don't judge....this is love...this is love for all children who have dreams and goals!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son gave this book to his nine-year-old daughter. After a few read-throughs she was repeating her favorite quotes verbatim. She truly loved this book, although she is not an avid reader. It will have a positive influence on any child. Whether you lean left, right, or not at all please don't ignore the message this book offers.