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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

President Obama's sister to publish children's book

By Stephen Lowman

laddertothemoon.jpgFollowing in the footsteps of her elder brother, the president of the United States, Maya Soetoro-Ng will release a children’s book this spring.

Unlike President Obama’s “Of Thee I Sing,” which was released last fall and focused on iconic figures of American history, Soetoro-Ng’s book is a much more personal tale about a grandmother and the granddaughter who never knew her.

Landing on April 12, “Ladder to the Moon” was inspired by Soetoro-Ng’s mother, Ann Dunham, and her daughter, Suhaila. In the book, Suhaila asks her mother, "What was Grandma Annie like?" Later that night, a golden ladder appears at Suhaila’s window leading to the moon, where her grandmother awaits. A magical story about dealing with loss follows, including subtle allusions to 9/11 and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Candlewick Press, the publisher, said there would be an initial printing of 200,000 copies. As part of the $250,000 marketing campaign, Soetoro-Ng will go on a book tour that takes her to destinations including, Chicago, Honolulu and Washington, D.C. Yuyi Morales illustrated the book.

Soetoro-Ng has said that as a child she loved “The Secret Garden,” “Where the Wild Things Are” and Dr. Seuss books.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in Honolulu, where she is a lecturer at the University of Hawaii and an education specialist at the East-West Center.

By Stephen Lowman  | March 1, 2011; 4:00 PM ET
 
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