Rana DiOrio's Reviews > Of Thee I Sing: A Letter To My Daughters

Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama
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Jan 15, 11

bookshelves: childrens-books
Read in December, 2010

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: http://www.lorenlong.com/] present at the scbwi 2010 Summer Conference. I was awed by his creative genius, and this book takes my admiration of his talent to a whole new level. He depicts many layers of nuance and conveys so much meaning through the extraordinary illustrations in this book. I was especially moved by his portrayal of Sitting Bull.

The Passion: The love, respect, and admiration the author feels for his daughter is so palpable in this book that I cried as I read it to my own daughters. It is also clear how the author defines strong character and what he values most about our country by not only the heros he chooses to admire but also through his evocative word choices.

The Message: The underlying message is that all of these groundbreakers were once children, just like the readers, and they hatched the ideals that shaped our great nation. The take away message to children is that they can make a difference. Dream, and then make it so.

My Only Issues: My only suggestions for improvement are: (1) I wish the book was more environmentally-friendly, that is, printed on recycled paper and without a dust jacket; and (2) I wish that the author had reframed the question about being smart. Had he read Dr. Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The Psychology of Success [http://bit.ly/b78OaN], I’m sure he would have praised the amount of effort his children exude vs. how “smart” they are.

The Conclusion: Buy [http://amzn.com/037583527X] or borrow this book and read it to the little pickles in your life. I will be giving it as a gift for a long time to come, and I imagine that you may do the same.
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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree Rana? The 'smart' question did not sit well with me.


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