President Barack Obama has written a children’s book titled Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters. It will be published on November 16 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers and have a first printing of 500,000 copies.
According to a press release from Random House, the President completed the manuscript prior to taking office in January of 2009. The book’s proceeds will be donated to “a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled soldiers serving our nation.”
The story is “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.”
Loren Long will illustrate. For a sample of his work, see this Meet the Illustrator Q&A he did with BookPage in 2008 about Drummer Boy.
ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper reports that this book is part of the three-book, $1.9 million deal that then-Sen. Obama reached with Random House in 2004. Of course, the first two books were the international bestsellers Dreams from my Father and The Audacity of Hope.
As far as I know (I’ll post an update if I learn otherwise), this is the first time a sitting president has published a book. It may also be the first time a president has published a children’s book. That territory is usually covered by First Ladies (Hillary Clinton’s Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets; Laura and Jenna Bush’s Read All About It!).
Will you check out Of Thee I Sing? What other people do you hope will be profiled?