Children’s books have played an interesting role in the history of the American presidency since Mason Weem’s Life of Washington (1800), which introduced several apocryphal tales about the first president (the cherry tree: myth) and was abridged for the children’s book market soon after publication. Presidential pets and presidents themselves have been the subjects of kid’s books, and first ladies and presidential children have often dabbled in the genre. And who can forget the stunning role The Pet Goat played in 2001?
President Obama will be entering the children’s book market the week after the midterm elections. Written before he took office, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughers is, according to the NYT, “a tribute ‘to 13 groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation,’ … including Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackie Robinson and George Washington.”
Proceeds from the book will go to a scholarship fund for the children of soldiers who have been wounded or killed. Hopefully the book will do better in November than the Democrats.