President and Nobel Prize winner Barack Obama is now adding another accomplishment to his resume: children’s book author. His new children’s book, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter To My Daughters” is a tribute to Obama’s tribute to 13 prominent Americans including George Washington, Jackie Robinson and painter Georgia O’ Keeffe. It is already rising to the top on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites.
Of Thee I Sing is part of a three-volume deal Obama signed in December 2004, just after he was elected senator but before he took office. When the deal was originally announced in 2004, the kids’ book was due in 2006, the profits were to go to charity and the original concept was for an illustrated volume about Obama’s childhood as a skinny young kid with big ears and funny name.
The 40-page book, billed for readers age 3 and up, is illustrated by Loren Long, who also created the art for The Little Engine That Could and Madonna’s Mr. Peabody’s Apples. The cover features a drawing of Obama’s daughters walking First Dog Bo across a grassy lawn.
The book will be released on November 16, 2010. This is the month of some big elections in the United States, and November is typically associated with politics in America. November is also the month of Thanksgiving, and President Obama’s book seems to have a theme of gratitude and appreciation for people who have woven personality and meaning into the culture of America.
The e-book is unlikely to be available on Amazon.com’s Kindle reader, the most popular e-device, which does not allow for illustrated texts. Random House does not currently sell books directly through the Apple iPad store, but in a separate announcement Monday the publisher said it had begun a partnership with the Seattle-based digital company Smashing Ideas to work on children’s books apps for electronic devices, including the iPad.
Obama is not the first president to write a children’s book. Jimmy Carter published The Little Snoogle-Fleejer in 1995, more than 10 years after leaving office. Before becoming president, Theodore Roosevelt collaborated on Hero Tales from American History, released in 1895.