A sincere expression of his love for his daughters and country, President Obama's kid book, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters (2010, Random House) has just hit the shelves. I was emotionally overwhelmed by President Obama's history of amazing Americans he sees reflected in his daughters. By the time I got to the passage about Maya Lin, the designer behind the Vietnam and Civil Rights Memorials, I was choking back tears.
Admittedly I lean left with my politics, and reliably get mushy over any dad that isn't afraid to show how much he loves his kids. So I decided a better person to review President Obama's book would be my own daughter, who, after the 2008 election, yelled out, "John McCain!" in her pre-school class, rebelling against her parents already.
To keep things fair and balanced, I bought Meghan McCain's kid book, My Dad, John McCain (2008, Aladdin) and let my daughter give the final word on Obama v. McCain.
We sat down with both books after I gave her time to peruse them on her own, as a beginning reader who is just conquering Dick and Jane.
So, kiddo, which one do you want to read first?
I definitely, really want this one (Of Thee I Sing) because it's my favorite.
There are lots of people. Are these real people?
(What followed was a reading, and an in-depth discussion of Helen Keller and what it means to be blind and deaf, what the Red Cross is, and an excited recognition of not only Abraham Lincoln but George Washington.)
Did you like Of Thee I Sing?
Yes. I like when all of the people are together. I really like it because it's special. There's lots of adults when they're kids.
Let's read My Dad, John McCain.
Is he a Republican?
The Republicans that aren't nice, do they try to be nice?
Umm, some of them do.
Is he a real person?
(Post-reading the book)
What did you think?
What was good?
I liked that he got better and he got married.
Which book did you like better?
I love the other book, and this book.
If you had to vote for one, who would you vote for?
I think both.
You can only choose one.
Because I like all the people in the book.
What do you think about the books that have real people instead of pretend characters?
Good. Because I like all the good stuff that people did in the books.
If you were going to buy one of these books for a friend, which one would you buy?
I would buy Gideon and Samantha the Barack Obama book.
(Turns to her grandmother) Can you read that book to me again?
Images via Amazon