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Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters [Kindle Edition]

Barack Obama , Loren Long
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Product Description


"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, Cesar Chavez--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

Book Description

A stunning picture book by President Barack Obama that is a treasure to share in every American family.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3197 KB
  • Print Length: 40 pages
  • Publisher: RHCP Digital (23 Nov 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004CRSN4W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #314,849 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The clue is in the title 26 Nov 2010
When I first heard the subtitle of President Obama's children's book, 'A Letter to My Daughters', I thought, I'd love to read that. A love-letter from Barack Obama, the weaver of heady and gorgeous visions. The private hopes and fears of a public figure, poured out. A father willing a better world into being for his children, prophesying over them.

To some degree, yes, that's what Of Thee I Sing is. In the rhythmic and poetic language you'd expect, a father tells his children how wonderful they are, how they 'bring dancing rhythms' and 'sunshine spills' into his day. As he lists his daughters' qualities, spread by spread, he tells the stories of thirteen American icons who also exemplify those characteristics: the courageous Jackie Robinson, the tenacious Martin Luther King, the inspiring Cesar Chavez. It is a roll-call of America's best. Loren Long's pure and rich pastel colour scheme captures this well. The optimistic blue sky of the cover catches the tone of the text, if not of the times. The opening image gets me the most: a wiry man in a shirt stands with his back to us, watching his daughters march away from him down a windy path. His hands seem clasped, as if with anxiety. The illustrations provide delight, attenuating even the imprint page, and showing the icons as children, and then as adults. However, as the crowd of heroes grows, they seem anxious to get off the page and go and do what they are each so good at.

Although the text brings each lofty characteristic and achievement back to Obama's daughters, the voice seems to speak not to the children, but of them. It soars over their heads in abstracts, addressing instead perhaps a national audience. As far as I know, children have never enjoyed being talked over.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars written before presidency.... 17 Nov 2010
great book, just what the little people of today need and just to make a point to the first review this book was written before he got into power - grow up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lucky find 15 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Such a thoughtful and beautiful book. i found this by chance when ordering some library books online so ordered this also. Then I liked it so much i bought a copy. I love the little biographies of all the people Barack Obama features in the book and the illustrations fit his words so well. Have been reading it myself and also to my one year old son who enjoys the pictures and the rhythm of the words. This book can be enjoyed by people of all ages. You are never too young or too old to open a book and feel uplifted.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Of thee I sing 2 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Fantastic book! Saw it first at the Peace centre in Oslo. Bought one for the school I have worked in (Primary) for their library. Children like it very much. Bought one for myself as I missed on my book shelf. Almost brings tears to your eyes. Beautifully told and illustrated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book 20 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my daughter when she turned four. It is truly a love letter from a parent to a child. She doesn't understand a lot of it yet but she loves it when we read it together, and it holds her attention. This is one to treasure.

I would recommend this book to any parent, regardless of their personal politics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A short history of America 6 Feb 2012
I wasn't planning on reading this book, but since it found its way into my hands, I thought I could just as well take a look. Besides, it's but a short read and it took me no more than a few minutes to go through it.
So, what is it that the American president speaks or rather sings about, in this slim volume that he's written for his daughters? Well, for the USA, of course. He starts by asking "Have I ever told you...?" and then goes on and answers the questions he poses himself, and thus teaches his girls and the reader, in a simple and straightforward way, about the history of the land. He talks about all there is to know about the American nation and the people who helped build it in one way or another and about the creation of the multicultural society of today: about Georgia O' Keefe, the painter, who "helped us see big beauty in what is small", about Albert Einstein, who gave the world a wealth of knowledge, about Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player, about the revolutionary and healer Sitting Bull, about Billie Holiday, the singer, about Helen Keller, who managed, even deaf and blind, to give the people lessons in strength and in courage, about Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, about the social reformer and Nobel Prize winner Jane Addams, who did everything within her powers to change this world of ours for the better, about the man who said to the people never to give up and changed forever the way of life of people in America, Martin Luther King, about Neil Armstrong, the explorer, and about Cezar Chavez, who fought for the rights of the farmers, about Abraham Lincoln, who said that all Americans are part of a big family and about George Washington, who declared that: "America is made up of people of every kind... They are all part of you...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 8 Oct 2011
If I had been American, I would have recommended this to all my friends as a must-buy for their kids as it heralds a range of American heroes and trail blazers, from Helen Keller to Einstein, Georgia O'Keeffe to Billie Holliday, and seeks to inspire kids' pride in their history and in being American. As it is, it will still be a wonderful gift for my own English daughter as she grows up. Not just for the beautiful prose but for the exceptional fine art illustrations. Really wonderful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a lovely book, the text is simple and tells us a great deal about the wonderful people in the book. The illustrations are magical. Read more
Published 7 months ago by aoife
1.0 out of 5 stars is this the same Obama?
I'm a very very big fan of President Obama but I think he should stick to writing on law and politics and world affairs; this anodyne drivel does him absolutely no justice... Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2011 by Hill Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Charmer!
We have all become so accustomed to reading about Obama, the man himself, both biographically and autobiographically, that it is a rare thing indeed, to find him, personally,... Read more
Published on 10 Jan 2011 by Ms. Jacqueline Sealey
1.0 out of 5 stars Obama's childrens book
I was not impressed with this book, is very thin with large font and pictures and about 30 pages. Its more like a hardback pamphlet. Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2011 by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what we could and should expect
A simple book, a simple style, a simple language to explain to two young girls, two young daughters, two young children what the world of today is all about. Read more
Published on 30 Dec 2010 by Jacques COULARDEAU
3.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity...
There is much that is good, beautiful, sincere and touching about this book, and for once it doesn't just feel like a celebrity ego-trip, but an attept to do something important. Read more
Published on 4 Dec 2010 by lionheart
5.0 out of 5 stars Accept the ethical demands bequeathed to us
A wonderful book; a small treatise on the unknown that reminds us that responsibility always precedes self awareness. Read more
Published on 17 Nov 2010 by Robert Campbell, Glasgow
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