President Barack Obama has already made his bestselling mark on the book world, and his reading choices spur sales like those of few people not named Oprah Winfrey. Now, he's moving into a different publishing realm: the world of children's literature.
As the Associated Press reported Monday, Knopf Books for Young Readers, a division of Random House Children's Books will publish Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters on Nov. 16, two weeks after the midterm elections.
The book, geared towards children ages 3 and up, was written before Obama took office, and is a tribute to 13 groundbreaking Americans, including George Washington, baseball great Jackie Robinson and artist Georgia O'Keeffe. The 40-page book is illustrated by Loren Long, best known for his artwork in The Little Engine That Could by Walter Piper.
"It is an honor to publish this extraordinary book, which is an inspiring marriage of words and images, history and story," Random House Children's Books President and Publisher Chip Gibson said Monday in a statement. "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans -- the potential to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths."
Back in 2004, Obama agreed in principle with Random House to write a children's book as part of a three-book deal worth approximately $1.9 million. His multimillion-selling 2006 book The Audacity of Hope arose out of that deal, as did another work of nonfiction that won't appear until the president is out of office.
Of Thee I Sing will have a 500,000-copy first printing, and all author proceeds will be donated to "a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled soldiers," according to Random House.