donderdag 28 november 2013

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters - Barack Obama

"If Barack Obama wants to quit his day job (and maybe he might), he can probably make it as a childrens book author. Certainly, this is a beautiful package: 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 and the softness of feather. Most of the people briefly profiled are expected names George Washington, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, César Chávez but there are a few outliers here as well, including Billie Holiday and Sitting Bull.
As the spreads turn, other children join (the unnamed) Malia and Sasha on the question page, each embodying their own special gifts and talents. Long's exceptional artwork has a timeless, Rockwellian quality that serves the text well, and the congregation of the children at the books conclusion will have readers looking and looking again. An addendum features a bit more about each person highlighted. Parents will be happy to talk to their own children about how creative or kind or strong they are and reiterate, as the president does, their place in the American family. Ilene Cooper" Booklist, starred review

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