Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters” as Want to Read:
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

by
4.23  ·  Rating details ·  5,322 ratings  ·  860 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
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,322 ratings  ·  860 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
Calista
This was so good it almost made me cry. Barack is talking to his children telling them how much potential they have and relating it to influential people in history like MLK and Einstein and Lincoln and Washington. I love the art work in this book and it is so inspiring. It has lifted me up.

The kids liked it too only not as much as me. They gave it for stars. It is readable and engaging. It has soul in it.

I have to say how much I miss this man. I miss the world feeling like it had potential. I m
...more
Mariah Roze
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
My students were very excited to read a book that President Obama wrote. This book had a really interesting and different take on educating about a lot of famous, strong individuals that made huge differences in our life.
Kurt
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Iris P
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teachers and parents of small children

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

Of Thee I Sing A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama

Read this at the library a couple of months ago, this short book is at once a series of history lessons and a lovely letter from this very well known author to his daughters.

The book includes bios of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Jackie Robinson, Billie Holiday, Cesar Chavez, Helen Keller, among others.

A charming short book that can teach little children how one person can inspired millions and change the world for the better.

I recommend it for e
...more
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This isn't a collection of what Barrack Obama wanted to tell his daughters but rather a storybook filled with numerous great men and women who do not know much about of.

These great personalities include Georgia O'Keefe for her more than lifelike art; Albert Einstein (we all know him, Ok☺️); Jackie Robinson a baseball player; Sitting Bull a Sioux medicine man; Billie Holiday who sang blues; Helen Keller (yas, we know her too🙂); Maya Lin who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; Jane Addams who
...more
Lisa Vegan
Nov 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Hai Quan
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics, juvenile
" Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense , a theft from those who are hunger but are not fed, those who are cold but are not clothed."
President Eisenhower.



All parents wish to provide their children with the best education within their financial ability .
All parents wish to instill into their children the best characters by using themselves and other esteemed personalities as examples and role models.
Therefore, it is not surprising to see
...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
Joyce
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes less is more. And that's the case here. This simple little book has a powerful message for children and for us all. Very inspirational. It only takes a few minutes to read. The illustrations are beautiful.
Rod Brown
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
A survey of inspirational historical figures seems a little too pat, safe, and bland for a man who challenged us to dream big. Nice art at least.

Gotta say, though, while I'm sitting in my house because I've been sent from my library jobs (with pay for now, thankfully) due to the coronavirus crisis, I surely wish Obama or a man like him were at the helm of the nation right now.
KIKA
Dec 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lovelies
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 fro
...more
Eva Leger
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Kathryn
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Matthew
To check out my reviews: https://dancinginth3dark.wordpress.co...

When I originally read this children's book, I wanted to make this an extravagant post about the former President during this chaotic transition of power and how I will deeply miss him and how he brought honor and respect to the role of President even though a good percentage of the country wanted to see him burn at the stake or worst. But as time has gone by and the laziness that has kicked in because of school I've decided to sim
...more
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
Stephanie Anze
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Of Thee I Sing is a moving letter Barack Obama writes to his daughters. Though intended for children, the message is universal. The illustrations are gorgeous and the theme relevant. For every trait that the former president attributes to his daughters, there is a notable person that best represents that trait. The simple format of the book highlights the powerful message: our individual traits are stronger working together rather than apart. A memorable book. Fun fact, Obama is the first sittin ...more
Petra-masx
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, children
I wonder who thought the idea of this book up? It reads like a spin-doctor's idea of a way to 'unite America' and mention loads of historically important people making sure that the selection is racially diverse. I liked the illustrations and the book was beautifully produced but the prose didn't move me at all. Maybe if I'd been an American I would have felt differently, but I'm not, I'm a West Indian and that means I'm support Obama but have no US party allegiance at all.
Lindi
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Have I told you that you are creative? Have I told you that you are smart? Have I told you that you are brave? Have I told you that you are a healer?

In this letter to his daughters, Obama highlights individuals who have shaped and inspired us. Billie Holiday, Georgia O'Keefe, and Helen Keller to name a few.

The love he has for his daughters, and the hope he has for future generations is as clear as ever. I miss him.
Rana DiOrio
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
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 awe
...more
Madeline
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
What a great inspirational book for children!

Yes, you can be anything you set your mind to!

Loved the illustrations!
Dee Dee G
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Positive, uplifting and inspiring book.
babyhippoface
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
...more
Anna
An amazing anthology of famous, world-changing role models who can inspire and guide the future generation, never letting them forget how smart, strong, courageous, and wonderful they are. I honestly can't believe the direction our country is currently headed in, but I'm so happy and grateful that we have a book like this with which to teach our children instead of just allowing them to believe that bullies always win. Thank you, President Obama.
Cara Byrne
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
"Have I told you that you are a healer?"

In this picture book, Obama introduces different Americans to his daughters (including Sitting Bull, MLK Jr., & Jane Adams), while reaffirming their beauty and self-worth. It's much more a collection of brief biographies than a book about the relationship between a father and his daughters.
...more
Maria Carmo
I just loved the direct and simple way in which Barack Obama manages to tell his Daughters about 13 major figures of the USA history, at the same time as he writes them a letter which is a way of appealing to the best in them. Lovely and inspiring.

Maria Carmo,

Lisbon, 30 July 2017.

Susan
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, you just need a beautiful book, with beautiful illustrations to remind you of hope.


5 Stars
Beverly
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 L
...more
Lakis Fourouklas
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Kris
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I loved this. It is inspirational without being saccharine, it offers a diverse picture of what it means to be a good person and a good citizen, and it is a tender letter from father to daughters. It is a tribute to historical figures without turning them into paragons. This is a really well-done picture book.
Pooja Banga
Great book by President Obama ..
I was excited that he has written it ..
Artwork was superb ..Way he has written letters to his daughters is great.
Story plot-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 heroe
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Scarf for Keiko
  • Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America
  • Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment
  • Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins
  • She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World
  • Hair Love
  • The Market Bowl
  • Chloe, Instead
  • Just Like Me
  • The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore
  • Freedom in Congo Square
  • Antiracist Baby
  • Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War
  • Juneteenth for Mazie
  • The Most Beautiful Thing
  • The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read
  • She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History
  • Happy Hair
See similar books…
5,072 followers
Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States, elected in November 2008 and holding office for two terms. He is the author of two previous New York Times bestselling books, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Michelle. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Related Articles

Journalist and historian Craig Fehrman's new book, Author in Chief, tells the story of America’s presidents as authors—and offers a new window...
41 likes · 25 comments
“A woman named Helen Keller fought her way through long, silent darkness.
Though she could not see or hear;
she taught us to look at and listen to each other.
Never waiting for life to get easier,
she gave others courage to face their challenges.”
7 likes
“Have I told you that they are all part of you? Have I told you that you are part of them and that you are the future?” 0 likes
More quotes…