of THEE I SING

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I love reading dedications in books…dedications children write are especially write, but I am always curious when the President of the United States writes a dedication to his first picture book, of THEE I SING.  He writes,

” To Michelle– whose fierce love and daily good sense have nourished such wonderful daughters.  – B.O. “

I absolutely love this picture book penned by Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long.  The first page pictures his lovely daughters passionately marching into the pages of the book followed by their pup.  I love the visual picture his words paint.

“Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?

How the sound of your feet

running from afar

brings dancing rhythms to my day?

How you laugh

and sunshine spills into the room?

The President of the United States then launches into his repeated refrain ,

“Have I told you that you are creative?”

On every page spread a new  virtue and a new American is highlighted.  My personal favorite is the late Helen Keller.

“Have I told you that you are strong?

A woman named Helen Keller fought her way through long silent darkness.

Though she could not see or hear,

she taught us to look at and listen to each other.

Never waiting for life to get easier,

she gave others courage to face their challenges.

This non-fiction picture books is perfect for launching a reading and writing unit on biographies.  Of course, keeping with the format of the new ‘non-fiction’ with voice, this book of mini-biographies has more information at the end of the book on each person mentioned in the book.  It is a fantastic mentor text to use with children, the use of a repeated question.  He also sprinkles metaphors , similes and alliteration throughout the informative text!

Yesterday, I was angered yet again, as I was sitting at the stop light in our town.  A man by the road was holding up a picture of our president.  He had drawn in a moustache on our president to give the appearance of Hitler.  The poster said, “Obama is a prick”.  Again, I was sickened as well as  saddened.  I looked at the man who had evil in his eyes.  He smiled at me, hoping for a supporter.  I just shook my head at him and sighed.  I wanted to shout at him, to scream expletives in his face, but somehow I knew that my President, who wrote this beautiful book, and dedicated this book to his wife, would also just shake his head and march forward, like he is teaching his own children and the other children of the world through this book.  Regardless of your politics, I know you would do the same, my friends. xo nanc

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About Judson RISE professor

lifelong teacher who is semi-retired (does this sound better?) who loves God, family and laughing... who hates social injustice... who wants to write every day... who needs to exercise every day... who blog hops... who wants to live her everyday life led by her savior, Jesus Christ!

8 responses »

  1. It’s so hard for us to change the world when people like the man on the side of the road are present, espousing nonsense rather than thoughtful critiques.
    of Thee I Sing is such an inspirational book. I haven’t read it since it was released. I need to go and look for it in my shelves and read it aloud to my daughter today.

  2. I love this book too. It is a great text, there are so many possibilities. That man on the side of the road makes me ashamed that he lives in our country. I wish politics weren’t so volatile.

  3. What a great book to read on September 11. Good storytelling (writing) on for September 11, too.
    Perfect post for today. Thank you.

  4. I’m not familiar with the book, but your post led me to request it from the library. I’m planning a picture book unit on biographies this year, and it sounds perfect for the unit.

  5. It is a beautiful book I agree. It reminds me of that earlier book (although not a picture book) by John F. Kennedy-Profiles In Courage. I’m sad that children have to hear parents act like that. Just think, that man could be someone’s father! I’m glad you wrote about the book and about President Obama. Thank you.

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