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Barack Hardcover – September 30, 2008

3.3 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—More tribute than biography, Winter's picture book adopts the same reverential tone found in Nikki Grimes's Barack Obama (S & S, 2008). Yes, the facts of Obama's life can be found here. Readers learn about his brief interactions with his father from Kenya, his stay in Indonesia with his white mother and her new husband, his work in Chicago, election to the Senate, and nomination for the presidency. But Winter also includes speculations about Obama's inner questioning of his identity and endows his life with an almost messianic quality. After quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., he declares that Obama "would be the embodiment of King's dream—a presidential candidate whose very being was a bridge that joined nations." Ford's illustrations reinforce this vision of greatness, whether Obama delivers a speech in front of a huge American flag or gazes confidently into the future while skies clear behind him. Even his enthusiastic supporters may squirm at such adulation. Children deserve a more evenhanded presentation.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In an election year, no demographic goes totally ignored, including those who have quite a few years left before they can vote. Following a model similar to Nikki Grimes’ Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope (2008), Winter’s book focuses on Obama’s upbringing, his travels between Hawaii and Indonesia, and how he was shuttled between parents and grandparents. The book’s refrain consists of two questions Obama keeps asking himself: “Who am I?” and “Where do I belong?” The nitty-gritty of politics are ignored (the word Democrat only comes up in the author’s note); Winter instead focuses on inspiring messages of hope and change. Although filled with fewer specifics than Grimes’ book, the paintings are more realistic. Interestingly, both books share some nearly identical illustrations, including an image of a tear rolling down the cheek of a churchgoing Obama. As with any such book, there is a danger in mythologizing a figure who is only beginning his political journey, but for young readers wondering about that man on the TV, this is a good starting point. Grades K-2. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 890L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061703923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061703928
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,313,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Ashworth on October 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully written and illustrated story for children. It's an inspirational story of self-discovery that also imparts our American values of pursuing one's dreams with hard work and perseverance. I'm a Republican and don't support/like Obama, but this is a great book because it tells a story my kids enjoy about another human being who has made something of his life. (I only wish the McCain book was as well written). I highly recommend this and Winter's other children's biographies if you want your children to enjoy learning about about history and culture through truly inspirational life stories.
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Format: Hardcover
Of the current group of books for children about Obama, this is by far the most well-written, most successfully executed, and most child-appropriate one. This isn't a smart country we live in, and children do, regardless of what the election's outcome might be, need to have the story of this candidate told in simple terms, in writing and not in a schmaltzy TV documentary. After 8 horrendous years, Americans nominated this man to run for President--a tremendous stride for his race; a book about a historic moment like this is worth more than all the toilet-training adventures and ghost-written celebrity stories about minding your manners you could possibly imagine. The illustrations, too, by a newcomer, promise a strong, strong career. I was very happy to purchase this book, and I'm very happy to see a work with such a combination of sophistication and energy on the market. A million thanks to everyone involved.
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By alissa5767 on December 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think all children should have several books about our President in their library and I think this one is worth purchasing.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm still holding out on buying this book or the McCain book, depending on who wins. It would be a great way to introduce our new president to students. The McCain book I saw was more informative and had actual photographs. This Obama book had beautiful illustrations and covered the basics on Obama's life with the focus being on finding his identity. It sounded as if the author read Obama's first book and just regurgitated it, making it sound choppy. I find that most biographies for children do turn people into flawless heroes with hearts of gold and this book did it again...either way, still worth using it for possibly introducing the president and enjoying the beautiful illustrations.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchase for school project. History in literary work. Child continues to review the book . Addition to the child library at home.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very informative...detailed pictures to share with children.
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Format: Hardcover
Winter, Jonah. Barack. Illustrated by A.G. Ford. Collins. 2009.

This lovely picture book provides a touching, lyrical overview of the major elements of Barack Obama's life mentioning his mixed race parents, childhood years spent in Indonesia, one time meeting with his father, adolescence spent living with his mother's parents in Hawaii, community organizing in Chicago, political life in Illinois, and campaign for President in 2008. It is a great way for young children to meet the man who is now the President of the United States. Written before Barack was elected President, this book showcases how Barack has become a great human being and leader because he was able to pull together the many disparate pieces of his life into a healthy whole. The vibrant illustrations glow with color and drama. It is very hard to depict real people because probably every reader will have a slightly different view of their accurate appearance; I think that Michelle Obama is far more beautiful and animated than she appears in this book.
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Format: Paperback
Fantastic likeness to Barack Hussein in this illustrated children's book from 2008!

You can almost recognize the president!

Not to mention his mother and father and stepfather snd grandparents and sister!

Many compare this book and its cover and simplistic propaganda to communist literature. I assure you, the Russians did better than this with Lenin and Marx.

The book omits the fact that he went to elite schools and screwed around and was the leader of the Choom Gang on a beach in Hawaii.

Now that would give our lazy students some HOPE that they can succeed without studying snd with brains full of THC. Hey man!!!!
I bought this priceless collectors item for fifty cents and hope someday to sell it as a historic book to future generations who find out the truth on Barack.

It is funny. You will smile and enjoy its sheer audacity.
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