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Obama's Book for Kids, 'Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters,' Due in November

4 years ago
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In 2008, while holding down two full-time jobs -- freshman senator from Illinois and Democratic presidential candidate -- Barack Obama found time to whip out a children's book titled "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," to be published next month, Politics Daily has learned.

On Tuesday, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, will make an announcement about the book, which is a tribute to 13 Americans, including artist Georgia O'Keeffe, baseball legend Jackie Robinson, and George Washington.

Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha, will be represented on the cover in an impressionistic image by children's illustrator Loren Long, who produced the portraits in the 40-page book. Light on text, the thin volume is intended to appeal to kids age 3 and up and will sell for $17.99. It's certainly expected by the publishing house to be a bestseller, with an initial printing of 500,000 copies.

Barack Obama children's book"Of Thee I Sing" is part of a three-volume deal Obama signed in December 2004, just after he was elected senator but before he took office. When the deal was originally announced in 2004, the kids' book was due in 2006, the profits were to go to charity and the original concept was for an illustrated volume about Obama's childhood as a "skinny young kid with big ears and funny name."

While the concept changed, proceeds will still go to charity -- a scholarship fund for military children with a parent who was killed or disabled -- but this publication fulfills Obama's obligation to turn in a children's book to his publisher. Obama got a $1.9 million advance in 2004 for the package, though the children's book was not part of the revenue stream. The advance enabled the Obamas to buy a mansion on the South Side of Chicago.

The original deal, negotiated by attorney Robert Barnett, came in the wake of the success of Obama's best-selling memoir, "Dreams From My Father." Obama finished "Audacity of Hope," his policy book (also a best seller) in 2006; his children's book in 2008 and the last book he owes his publisher will come out after Obama finishes his presidency. According to his 2010 financial disclosure report, the deal was revised on Jan. 9, 2009, so the last book did not have to be delivered until he was out of office. On Jan. 15, 2009, days before he was inaugurated president, Obama got a $500,000 advance for a young-adult version of "Dreams From My Father."

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15 Comments

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calmarmel

If I disliked a person so much I wouldn't take the time to read their book review or even take the time to comment. To Victoria- "How Daddy Divided a Nation" would be a better book title for Bush- he did a great job during his presidency. Obama is in a hole that Bush created.

November 19 2010 at 1:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LonnieAnn

So the proceeds will be given to charity or the families of military men killed in war. Since he has already received 1.9 million plus another $500,000. or half a million, the publisher gets expenses for printing and publishing the books, now tell me how much is going to be left for charity? Got to sell a helluva lot of books.

September 15 2010 at 5:07 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
nflamingo

Wait!!! He got paid 1.9 million to writ childrens books, yet the proceeds will go to charity? How does the publisher make any money? Something does not sound right.

September 14 2010 at 7:04 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
ayriellepatrick

Oh Kookabird...of only you had learned to read an artical before we allowed our fingers to play on the pretty keys. " "Of Thee I Sing" is part of a three-volume deal Obama signed in December 2004, just after he was elected senator but before he took office. When the deal was originally announced in 2004," were we absent that day when your teachers taught you to read ????.Relax dear silly being and wait for an adult to read things to you before you grab your bear and go to be.

September 14 2010 at 7:02 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
rdm45

Barack probably has a few more books in the wings that he wrote on one his many vacations.

September 14 2010 at 6:16 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rdm45's comment
Sekinu2

Lol Im sure he does all about a fantasy land that was killed off by a Big Crazy man who thought he had a clue and spent all the country's money while its people died of poverty as the dumb monster laughed and put his foot on thier throats in an evil plot to take over the world....oh wait thats his biography.

September 14 2010 at 7:31 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
rose

I really don't like this president but I have to hand it to him on this one. At least the profits will go towards a good charity versus his pocket. I may buy this just for that reason. it benefits this: a scholarship fund for military children with a parent who was killed or disabled I may not like him but you do have to admit he loves his family and it was written for his daughters BEFORE he even became a senator, so whoever is saying he did this while on watch, is way off base.

September 14 2010 at 4:40 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to rose's comment
SPIDER

Honestly..You dont have to Like a President ,,But you do have to Respect a President and be able to separate one personal feelings..The questions that must be asked when anyone is in power is if that person has the country best interest in mind. Will the actions taken benefit us not just in the short term but in the long term and for the future of our children. What is so wrong with this President or any other writing a book..Its not in anyway a diversion from ones ability to run a country..come on people its a book.. We are all AMERICANS and we should stop and remember that everyday......

September 14 2010 at 5:27 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
martbild

You don't have to buy this book to contribute to children with a military parent who was killed. Seek them out and cut out the middle man.

September 14 2010 at 7:00 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
Kookabird

Honestly, if Obama were doing his job as president, he would not have time for this. This is something he should have done AFTER he left office.

September 14 2010 at 2:04 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
horncymru

Spider, there are at least 25 books written by Presidents. For a list go to: http://www.amazon.com/Books-Written-By-Presidents/lm/1EZLTLTZDKGP4 Why didn't you look that up BEFORE you posted? Lazy? Busy? Don't know how?

September 14 2010 at 2:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to horncymru's comment
SPIDER

Yes I knew that there were books written by presidents but the point that janekatyt was making was that no president before this one wrote a book while in office and I didn't know that answer...I was at work and I could not check it out.....Facts are important it supports the TRUTH

September 14 2010 at 5:17 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
sheplazguitar

Another sweet little stunt for votes.

September 14 2010 at 1:55 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
katydid579

It's wonderful to have a President intelligent and literate enough to WRITE a children's book instead of one who just reads them.

September 14 2010 at 1:42 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply

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