Obama “sings” to his daughters

Obama

“Have I told you that they are all a part of you?” President Barack Obama asks his daughters, Sasha and Malia, rhetorically in his new book Of Thee I Sing. “Have I told you that you are one of them and that you are the future?”

The “they” Obama is referring to is the five women and eight men mentioned in this children’s book, which was published in November but written before he took office in January 2009. The book is a free-verse poem describing how diverse people throughout the nation’s history have changed its course for the better. Included in the book are such notable people as painter Georgia O’Keefe, musician Billie Holiday, baseball player Jackie Robinson and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The way that Obama and the illustrator collaborated was innovative and helped convey the message. On one page, the opening words “Have I told you…” are listed above an illustration portraying the famous people as children. On the next page is an illustration of the famous person he is talking about above the description of who they are and how they contributed to society.

The illustrations are very realistic, and the words on the page flow. It’s cute and touching, and while he obviously had his daughters in mind while writing the book, he is also writing to all the children of the world. His message that everyone has the potential to become someone extraordinary despite roadblocks along the way reverberates throughout.

This book not only gives you a smile, it provides insight into how Obama interacts with his family. It is clear he is devoted to his daughters and that he sees great potential in them.

Of Thee I Sing is inspiring and teaches that all children have the capacity to become someone great; if you believe in yourself, anything is possible.

I would recommend this book to teenagers who have younger siblings. It’s an excellent book to read together before bedtime. It’s also good if you just want a short, inspirational piece to put a smile on your face.

Katelyn Arrocha