Our Enduring Spirit: President Barack Obama's First Words to America

Barack Obama, Author , illus. by Greg Ruth. Harper $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-06-183455-4

Though many children's books about Barack Obama, his family (and their new pet) arrived earlier this year, a few are on deck for fall.

Our Enduring Spirit: President Barack Obama's First Words to America Barack Obama , illus. by Greg Ruth. Harper , $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-06-183455-4

Ruth's concluding note explains that he was “electrified” by the results of the 2008 presidential election and began drawing portraits of Obama, which led to this evocative picture book. The selected excerpts from Obama's speech (also printed in its entirety at the end of the book) only obliquely note the nation's current crises, but make ample use of Obama's numerous historical references: a ship approaches Ellis Island on one half of a spread, facing four slaves harvesting cotton (“For us , they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth”). Dramatic washes of color are juxtaposed with Ruth's inky paintings of the president and of Americans past and present, as strong brushstrokes define their subjects while creating a tangible sense of movement. With the book's emphasis on common values and backgrounds, readers are likely to come away with a sense of pride, hope and belonging, while recognizing that freedom doesn't come without work. All ages. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/12/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 48 pages - 978-0-06-183456-1
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