Customer Reviews: Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
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on November 18, 2010
All politics aside, this really is a beautiful book with a wonderful 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 absolutely incredible, and I will definitely be checking out more books that Loren Long has illustrated. I agree with some of the other reviewers that some of the examples of great Americans seem a little odd, but I appreciate the sentiments behind all of them, and I think this book could inspire young readers to learn 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 Jane Addams was. It is obvious that the book is trying to appeal to a wide range of people, and I think this is as it should be...the core message 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.

I hope that everyone will note that President Obama wrote this book before he was in office and that 100% of the profits are being donated to a charity for the children of disabled veterans. I think it is a hard heart indeed that could not agree that this is a beautiful book being sold for a good cause.
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on November 16, 2010
Aimed at young children, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters offers brief glimpses of how the contributions of a single person can touch lives, inspire others and sometimes, change the course of history. Written before he became president, Obama here chooses a baker's dozen Americans to illustrate traits such as courage, creativity and intelligence that he sees in his daughters and encourages young people to find and develop in themselves. Those chosen - including George Washington, Jackie Robinson, Billie Holliday, Cesar Chavez, Helen Keller & Sitting Bull - capture ethnic diversity and include a good balance of men and women.

While the text is sparse, the President has a nice turn of phrase and the accompanying artwork by Loren Long is simply wonderful. Best of all, though, is the subject, which offers a great jumping off point for parents to talk to their children, not only about the people profiled, but of their own talents and opportunities and of the importance of contributing to society.

I have something of a love affair with cover art and I just want to note that the cover of this book really appeals to me. The image of two young girls (Sasha and Malia Obama with their dog, Bo, but representative of all children) marching along with a spring in their step beautifully conveys an air of optimism and confidence - two things I long to see in all children and that our country could use more of at this time.

Highly recommended.
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on November 17, 2010
No matter what your age, this book is simply lovely. It celebrates the potential in our children, the seeds of greatness we must nurture. The illustrations are simple and beautiful, enhancing the poetry and meaning of the text. (The illustrator is Loren Long.) The girls, clearly meant to represent Sasha and Malia, are told about the qualities they possess and then told about someone who exemplifies that quality -- that person as a child is then shown to be standing next to the girls until there's a crowd of children standing together.

At the back of the book is a little more about each person represented in the book so that, hopefully, an interest in learning even more might be fostered.

The people represented are:

Georgia O'Keefe
Albert Einstein
Jackie Robinson
Sitting Bull
Billie Holiday
Helen Keller
Maya Lin
Jane Addams
Dr. Martin Luther King
Neil Armstrong
Cesar Chavez
Abraham Lincoln
& George Washington

The attributes honored include kindness, bravery, persistence, patriotism, honoring the sacrifices of others, and creativity.

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?

5 stars.
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on November 16, 2010
This letter to the Obama daughters is inspiring for children and adults alike. This children's book is uplifting and unexpectedly informational while paying homage to thirteen icons that helped change and shape this country. The introduction to each great American visionary starts with seemingly simple words, "Have I told you. . . ?". This book is beyond creative, full of love, and well rounded. Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters is diverse, promotes equality, and without a doubt has the power to inspire every person with the snippets of courageous, patriotic, and brilliant Americans.

Award-winning Loren Long did an amazing job illustrating President Barack Obama's meaningful words. His artwork is simply sensational, and begins with Malia and Sasha standing by themselves when their father first asks, "Have I told you?". As Barack Obama teaches his daughters of a these amazing Americans, the visuals quickly turn into the girls standing with children that reflect the strengths of the American figures previously mentioned. The illustration concept is not only heartwarming but genius, and I found myself excited to view the upcoming pages.
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on December 12, 2010
I was touched at how sweet the letter was written. The tender and proud words told me this was a man who truly loves his girls. I smiled at the dedication to his wife and thought a mother's fierce love is what is most needed in today's world.
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on December 11, 2010
This book is truly a wonderful "letter," not only to Sasha and Malia, but to the American people, lauding our greatness and giving specific examples. I love the illustrations and the wonderful meaning for all Americans. I bought this for my grand daughter, and I loved it so much, I want to get another one for myself!
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on May 1, 2016
A great kids-friendly book written by our first and very popular black president. Arrived early and is hard-bound, pretty illustrations and teach your kids the achievements of all hard-working Americans like you and me. Speak Tagalog, A Basic Primer book by Juanita de Guzman Gutierrez is on sale at Amazon. Like this books by our popular president, this book will teach you how to speak Tagalog easily and quickly. Four other kids-friendly books like this of Thee Sing by our well-loved president by Gutierrez are The Blessed One, The Just One, Chosen You Forever, Full of Grace all available at Amazon. Any of these children books will make your budding readers love to read and make them literacy stars!!!
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on November 28, 2010
I ordered a few copies to give as gifts for the children in our family for Christmas. Not only its good informative history, all the proceeds will go toward fallen US military service men and women, to provide for their children's education.
Its for a tremendous great cause, so put all politics aside and support our troops on this.
President Obama wrote this book prior to being President.
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on February 27, 2012
This incredible book is a children's book, but since it has so much history the reader need not be a child. With his classic way of using words, our president has woven a beautiful letter to his two daughters. He gives positive statements about the character they immulate while using outstanding people from history who had the strong character traits. Masterfully done! The illustrations are simple, but profound. What a delightful combination. My students love it!
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on March 2, 2011
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters is a 2010 children's book by Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long. Here, Obama affirms his children's positive attributes while paying tribute to thirteen influential Americans.

The book reads like Obama talks; you can hear him in your head without trying too hard. And the text is a lot like a speech: it extols, in a somewhat general way, virtue, hard work, bravery, and the like, without getting into anything terribly substantial. But for what this book is trying to do, that's fine.

Long's art is the highlight of the book. Beginning with representations of Obama's two daughters, on each left-facing page, Long adds a child version of the notable American spotlighted on the opposite page. By the end of the book, there is a mass of diverse humanity.

Sitting Bull, who made war against the federal government, is, shall we say, an interesting choice here, particularly since he's saluted as a healer. I wouldn't say it's an inappropriate choice, necessarily, but Obama is certainly trying to get the reader to look at American history from multiple points of view.

Regardless of what you think of Obama or his policies, Of Thee I Sing is a lovely little book that celebrates the best about America and the people who made her great. Read it to your kids.
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