Father’s day is coming up, and while I don’t have any kids, I do have an awesome father. One of the things I recall most strongly from growing up is my father sharing encouragement and advice. Similar words of wisdom are shared in the letter to his daughters written by Barack Obama, and published as Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters. There are two major aspects of this book. First is listing characteristics of the author’s daughters, and showing how these virtues were embodied in great Americans. Second the author shows how the United States was built by many great Americans working together, and that his children as with all American children have a strong heritage and a bright future.
Part inspiration, part biography, part poem, part patriotic paean, like many books for children, this struggles with classification. Unlike many celebrities’ childrens books it does transcend its limitations, and is not heavy handed. It is beautifully written, poetic, and really reads as if it were written for his daughters. In our library, this book is in the 100’s, with other inspirational books. But it could be with 900’s or picture books.
I encourage readers to put aside politics, and enjoy these heartfelt words from Barack Obama to his daughters. Loren Long’s wonderful illustrations capture the two girls, and the various historical figures.