Barack

Jonah Winter, Author, AG Ford, Illustrator , illus. by AG Ford. HarperCollins/Tegen $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-170392-8

This most recent picture book about a 2008 presidential candidate (see Reviews, Aug. 11 for more books on the subject) could serve as an object lesson in haste: the publisher has said that Winter (Frida ) turned the text around in two weeks and, unfortunately, it shows. Known for his clarity and lively prose, the author punctuates this biography with clichés. Barack Obama's life is framed as a “journey” through a complicated childhood to “unimaginable heights” (Winter doesn't specify those heights until an endnote, which centers on Obama's presidential campaign). At first Winter depends heavily on existential questions (“Where do I belong?” “Who am I?”), but these are poorly suited to the target audience, and some of his answers are glib. For example, discussing Obama's biracial background, he writes: “So what did that make Obama? For Caucasians, it simply made him 'black.' For some African Americans, though, it made him less African American.” Debut artist Ford deserves credit for executing more than 20 paintings in only months; however, his figures are often distorted or strained. Ages 4–7. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.