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Of Thee I Sing
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Of Thee I Sing

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  1,993 ratings  ·  401 reviews
In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published November 16th 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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I took interest in this book after seeing a headline from Fox "News" that said: Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Killed U.S. General. Since Fox is truthful and "fair and balanced" (they couldn't say that about themselves if it weren't true, could they?), I realized that all the books I had read about Native American history must be all wrong. So, Custer was not a Lieutenant Colonel like all the history books say, he was really a General; Sitting Bull didn't stay in camp during the Battle of Little ...more
Lisa Vegan
Dec 07, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children & parents; for those interested in many aspects of history & historical figures
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
Full disclosure: I admire Barack Obama and am particularly smitten with him as a father, with his family. I think that he has a lovely family and that he and Michelle are marvelous parents, and the girls seem like truly nice people.

The concept of this book is that Obama is writing a letter to his daughters about how he feels love for them and his hopes for them, all the time educating them about people who have made a difference.

It might be thanks to the illustrator, Loren Long, that this book i
This book is something special. I saw it on the rack at B&N and sat down to take a quick look. But as soon as I began reading, I knew it wasn't going to be just a quick look through.

President Obama writes the book as if it were a letter to his daughters. The story or letter, as it were is lovingly written and the illustrations beautiful.

Obama begins each page with

"Have I told you . . ."

Telling his girls how wonderful, strong, and kind they are. Subsequently highlighting a historic figure
I tried to approach this book as simply a picture book, ignoring the "celebrity author" and Presidential status of its author. I figured that would be the fairest approach, trying not to prejudge for better or for worse. And, I ended up really enjoying it! A few phrases got a bit overly poetical or did not flow or match as perfectly as they could, but most were pitch-perfect and very touching. I really appreciate the sentiments about how children can learn from those outstanding individuals who ...more
Ashley Wampler
I loved this book! It is a letter written by Barack Obama to his little girls. On each page, he begins "Do you know you are _____?" He fills in the blank with a characteristic, such as brave, strong, etc. He then talks about a famous American that also embodies this trait. It is educational, but also very sweet and heartwarming. It definitely could be used to boost children's self esteem and self confidence. This book also pertains to various social studies topics due to the use of the famous Am ...more
Eva Leger
I'm not an Obama fan. (I'm exactly whatever is the opposite of 'fan' when it comes to him.) I've seen this book in Wal-Mart for quite some time now and rolled my eyes each time. I assumed I'd know exactly what was inside. In short, a cheesy, for the media book written "for" his daughters. I expected to hate it. I expected to make fun of it. I expected that I'd never, ever, ever read it to my daughter.
But it's good. And it's not just 'good'. It's 'really good'. It's almost five stars good to be e
Caroline Barnett
I love this book! There are so many ways a teacher can use this book. I would most likely use this book in a history lesson because of the great historical references made of many inspiring historical Americans. The illustrations are beautiful. You could have your students research the people mentioned in the book as well as President Obama. In the back of the book there are a few facts about the different people mentioned in the book that have help build our country to be what it is today. This ...more
Rana DiOrio
The Story: This is exactly my kind of book. It provokes meaningful discussions between parents and children, teachers and students. Who was Jackie Robinson? Why was he important to history? Who is Maya Lin? What was the significance of the Civil War? the Vietnam War? The pivotal conversations that this book evokes are innumerable.

The Artwork: I had the privilege of listening to Loren Long [insert link to his site:] present at the scbwi 2010 Summer Conference. I was awe
Lakis Fourouklas
I wasn’t planning on reading this book, but since it found its way into my hands, I thought I could just as well take a look. Besides, it’s but a short read and it took me no more than a few minutes to go through it.
So, what is it that the American president speaks or rather sings about, in this slim volume that he’s written for his daughters? Well, for the USA, of course. He starts by asking “Have I ever told you…?” and then goes on and answers the questions he poses himself, and thus teaches
Goodreads description:

In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America’s children.

Breathtaking, evocative illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Lo
I am naturally leery of celebrity-authored books. Especially celebrity-authored picture books. So it's taken me a while to get to this one, but I am so very pleased with it. It's beautiful, really, in both the words and the illustrations. Mr. President has a way with words (like that's a surprise):

Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?
How the sound of your feet
running from afar
brings dancing rhythnms to my day?
How you laugh
and sunshine spills into the room?

What child would not want to he
Lisa Carroll
I can't say enough good things about this book. This beautifully illustrated picture book was wonderful to look at and the story was charming. As a parent, I often think of letters or things that I want my children to know. This is exactly the type of thing that I would like to write to my son. Praising a child for attirbutes such as being kind and strong is so important in building their self-esteem. I also loved how some of America's most important pioneers were noted and discussed. At the end ...more
I read this book to my five year old in the Marshfield Public Library this morning. I loved it. President Obama presents a very moving portrayal of America through brief biographical sketches of famous Americans, linking each person to something he wishes his daughters to learn about themselves and their country. Albert Einstein, Sitting Bull, George Washington, Helen Keller, Neil Armstrong, Jane Adams, Jackie Robinson, Caesar was all very nicely done. I may have to buy this one for ...more
Ana Rînceanu
A taste of history at an early age can inspire a life-long passion.
I was a bit skeptical about this at first, fearing it would be too saccharine. But it was just sweet enough, and I have to admit that I got chills in the end.
Obama compares children to many great Americans, such as Jackie Robinson, Maya Lin, Cesar Chavez, George Washington and many others.
I am definitely going to use this as a read-aloud for children 1st grade and up.
Loren Long's illustrations are beautiful, sometimes dreamy and pay great tribute to many beloved historical figures. And the co
At one time all the greats, the inspirational thinkers, artists, sportsmen, and more were children just like any other. Children represent possibilities. President Obama gives this message to not only his own daughters, but to every child. Each spread is split into two parts, the left-hand page shows the childhood forms of famous persons staring into the distance alongside each other, and Obama's two daughters. A simple statement addresses them, "Have I told you...", you can be this, or to not g ...more
This book is thoughtfully conceived, handsomely illustrated and designed, and with a tight yet evocative text that brings children into the world of 13 famous Americans. Framed as a letter to his daughters ("Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?" the book begins), each double-page spread then asks a question that is exemplified by a person of note. "Have I told you that you are creative?" introduces Georgia O'Keeffe, who "helped us see big beauty in what is small: / the hardness of stone ...more
Primary - Read Aloud/Independent

Rationale: This primary book was chosen for Jack to appeal to his love of non-fiction and more importantly, his assertion he would read a book the President recommended to him, thus why not a book on American history written by the President for children?

Hook: If you had a chance to speak to the President, what kind of things do you think he would want you to know? In this book, President Obama has a written to his daughters and other children of the nation about
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 p ...more
I was very leery of this book, because in my experience politicians and celebrities rank about equal for successful children’s book writing. In other words, odds are good that it will be bad. But I am so glad that I did eventually pick this one up and give it a try. President Obama has written a letter to his daughters that asks a question like “Have I told you that you are creative?” He then offers an example of a famous American who exemplifies that character trait, summing them up in a few li ...more
Mary Kate
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 ...more
Suzy Liebermann
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jasmine Howard
The book called "Of Thee I Sing:A Letter To My Daughter by Barack Obama and Lauren Long the illustrator was about a letter the President wrote for his daughters about the historic nation of the United States and the motivational leaders whom contributed to our society by their wonderful significance to this nation but also the characteristics he sees in his chidren and future American children today. He starts the book with an introduction of questions that he sees within his children and tells ...more
This book is adorable. It's definitely a children's book, but it's also worth reading if you're an adult. The illustrations are excellent; engaging and colorful.

The book starts out with two young girls, presumably Sasha and Malia. As each influential figure appears another child is added to the group, many carrying an object associated with the figure's work. Eventually, there's a whole crowd of children of all types. If you pay attention you'll notice that the kids pass around their props, whic
Both incredibly sweet and educational. It's a wonderful gift for his daughters, but it's also a lovely read for anyone (parent or not). The drawings are rich and detailed; I loved how they all interacted with each other when they're looking at the art and how little Helen Keller always has someone guiding her. It's those details in the art that took the book from being sweet to being special.

The only thing that would've pushed it over to 5 stars would've been if, instead of 'America', he'd writt
My daughter (age 10) ran up to me saying "Mommy, I LOVE this book!" , hugging it to her chest. It dawned on me that I didn't even remember we had it. So I read it, out loud. First to myself, but then my daughter sat beside me, and then her twin brother, and then our eldest.

As I continued reading I saw smiles on their faces, and twinkles in their eyes. I can only imagine the thoughts in their minds.

The best part was when I finished; my daughter hugged me: "I love you too, Mommy!" :)

Have I tol
In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped his nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all children. Breathtaking, evocative illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Long at once capture the personaliti ...more
A lovely and inspirational book! I definitely recommend it for elementary school libraries. In addition to being a great read aloud for students doing biography projects, it's a wonderful read aloud for students in K - 5. I loved that a wide variety of important Americans were included as inspirational examples. Beginning with Obama's daughters, each spread of pages includes additional children learning about these famous people. At the end, they come together to demonstate that "America is made ...more
Mhm Storytelling
This book written by President Obama features beautiful illustrations by Loren Long (born in Missouri!). It speaks about all of the wonderful qualities that children possess and connects those qualities to famous people in history (including Martin Luther King Jr., Helen Keller, Jackie Robinson, etc). It also talks about the importance of accepting differences and working together to make a better future.

Themes: Historic figures, positive characteristics (creative, smart, kind, inspiring and pr
Denise Gianelli
Have I told you lately....... This phrase is repeated throughout most of this charming book. I can see teachers using this book for literature, history and esteem building. This is a marvellous, thought provoking book, regardless of political bias.
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Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. He is the first African-American President to be elected President of the United States, and was the first to be nominated for President by a major U.S. political party. He was the junior U.S. Senator from Illinois from 2005 until he resigned on November 16, 2008, following his election to the Presidency.

Barack Obama is the son of
More about Barack Obama...
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise The Inaugural Address, 2009: Together with Abraham Lincoln's First and Second Inaugural Addresses and The Gettysburg Address and Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance Barack Obama in His Own Words

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