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Posted at 4:47 PM ET, 11/15/2010

Obama's children's book hits stores

By Stephen Lowman

Thumbnail image for sing2.jpg"Have I told you that America is made up of people of every kind?" asks President Obama in his latest book.

Two weeks after voters gave his party a "shellacking," Obama is out with children's book celebrating the American people.

“Of Thee I Sing,” aimed at children ages 3 and up, is light on text but rich with Loren Long’s illustrations. On the opening page Obama addresses his two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

“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?”

Obama goes on to tell them about 13 “groundbreaking Americans.” In order, they are:

Georgia O’Keeffe (“helped us see big beauty in what is small”)
Albert Einstein (“changing the world with energy and light”)
Jackie Robinson (“showed us all how to turn fear to respect”)
Sitting Bull (“a Sioux medicine man”)
Billie Holiday (“sang beautiful blues”)
Helen Keller (“taught us to look and listen to each other”)
Maya Lin (“public spaces should be filled with art, she thought”)
Jane Addams (“fed the poor”)
Martin Luther King, Jr. (“taught us unyielding compassion”)
Neil Armstrong (“first to walk on the moon”)
Cesar Chavez (“showed farmworkers their own power”)
Abraham Lincoln (“promised freedom to enslaved sisters and brothers”)
George Washington (“our first president”)

Obama’s dedication reads: “To Michelle — whose fierce love and daily good sense have nourished such wonderful daughters.”

Random House said that the 40-page book has a first printing of 500,000 copies. It has a list price of $17.99.

The origins of the book date back to 2004, when then Senator Obama inked a three book deal with Random House worth $1.9 million. Obama’s two previous books were both best-sellers. “Dreams from My Father,” about the president’s early life, earned him $3.3 million in 2009. His second book, “Audacity of Hope,” netted him $2.3 million that year.

Proceeds from the sales “Of Thee I Sing” will be donated to a scholarship fund that serves the children of soldiers who have been killed or disabled.

The book is subtitled "A Letter to My Daughters," but it's not the first time the president has written a letter to Sasha and Malia for everyone to see. Shortly before taking office in 2008 Parade Magazine published a "letter" he wrote to them.

By Stephen Lowman  | November 15, 2010; 4:47 PM ET
Tags:  obama children's book; of thee i sing;  
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How dare this book's author draw the President's children into the public spotlight and make a spectacle of them? Doesn't the author understand the President's often-expressed wish that they be left alone and allowed to live their lives in private?

Posted by: Rob_ | November 16, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I thought W had a lock on children's books.

Posted by: phvr38 | November 16, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about Obama's book? Read George Bush's book instead. Oh, I miss him! I can take one look at Obama and I want to vomit! 2012! 2012! You can't come soon enough!

Posted by: georges2 | November 16, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh for the one who said he missed George B, the only people who misses george are those with very short memory span. A former president who lied us into war, killed and destroyed american families for his personal war. A former president(G.Bush) who is responsible for the dire mess we are in with the economy. A former president(G.Bush) who threw a CIA operative under the bus to get back at her husband. He, Former president Bush is only missed by those who have very short memory.

Now as far as the book, atleast he wrote it unlike Palin..Well, 2012 is far away so lets all have a election mental break.

Posted by: Realistic5 | November 16, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama needed to do the work he was elected to do, not write a mawkish children's book to further his PR efforts. What a tone-deaf thing to do;announce the publication of this stupid book when the country is furious and anxious about his inability to get the job done. The country is sick of him, his wife and his family and all the lectures and nagging. Even those who voted for him are sick of him.
Only W in the public eye once again makes us remember why we voted for this inept narcissist in the first place, hoping that he actually had more experience than his thin resume suggested...

Posted by: jsands2 | November 16, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

This book comes out just in time for Christmas. I suggest you buy it along with "Who Am I? The Story of Barack Obama," which is a biography of Barack Obama for elementary school children. Using color photographs and text, it tells how Obama struggled to define himself as a black child in a white world. It can be read by children as young as seven but is appreciated as a photo biography by children in the upper elementary grades. The actual reading level is grade 3-4. This book can be found in more than 600 schools in the US. More information about both books on

Posted by: phyllis9 | November 19, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

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