Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Of Thee I Sing

Despite two wars, complete economic meltdown, a domestic agenda in tatters and Iran's imminent acquisition of nuclear weapons, President Barack Obama has somehow found the time to write a children's book called Of Thee I Sing, which is being published by Knopf in November. It's a series of "letters to his daughters" about prominent American heroes and the inspirational lessons that can be learned from them. There better be some fart jokes in there too or this book is really going to be a bore for any kids that I know, but I imagine it will sell well as clueless grandparents buy it by the truck load for Christmas or Channukah. Knopf are also the publishers of Tony Blair's book which I've been reading all week and which has been poorly edited and disastrously indexed; so here's hoping they've done a better job with the President's book, although I do wonder why Knopf let Obama go with the title Of Thee I Sing which is, if I recall correctly, also the title of a Gershwin musical from the 30's about a silly, vacuous politician who somehow becomes President of the United States. Hmmmm.
I do like the cover illustration which looks cute and was done by Loren Long who did the art for, er, Madonna's books, but the Knopf people had to ruin that too by getting the typography wrong. I looked this book up in the Library of Congress Catalog: the title is Of Thee I Sing, not, of THEE I SING.