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1 Obama's Childrens Book *Of Thee I Sing** on Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:12 am


President and Nobel Prize winner Barack Obama is now adding another accomplishment to his resume: children's book author.

Obama, who became a millionaire from the two books he published prior to taking office, will expand his audience to younger readers this fall with the release of a picture book.

"Of Thee I sing: A Letter to My Daughters," is due on shelves Nov. 16, two weeks after the midterm elections.

The book pays "tribute to 13 groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation" including Georgia O'Keefe, Jackie Robinson and George Washington, according to a statement released by publisher Random House.

"President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his children, and within all of America's children," the statement reads.

The 40-page book, billed for readers age 3 and up, is illustrated by Loren Long, who also created the art for "The Little Engine That Could" and Madonna's "Mr. Peabody's Apples."

The cover features a drawing of Obama's daughters walking First Dog Bo across a grassy lawn.

"It is an honor to publish this extraordinary book, which is an inspiring marriage of words and images, history and story," Random House publisher Chip Gibson said in a statement on Monday. "'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."

Obama actually wrote the book before he became President.

His previous two books, "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope," were both chart-toppers on The New York Times bestseller list.

According to tax filings reviewed by The Associated Press and the Washington Post, Obama has earned roughly $12.6 million in royalties from the books since 2007.

He made approximately $4 million in 2007, the year he kicked off his presidential campaign; $2.6 million in 2008; and his 2009 his tax return reflected nearly $5.5 million from the combined royalties of the books – not to mention a $500,000 advance he earned in 2008 for agreeing to write an abridged version of "Dreams from My Father."

But Obama won’t be making a mint from his latest foray into the book world.

Any proceeds from "Of Thee I Sing" will be donated to "a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled soldiers serving our nation," Random House said in a statement.

"Of Thee I Sing" is part of a $1.9 million, three-book deal with Random House reached in 2004, according to AP, which obtained a disclosure report filed in 2005. The other two books in the deal were slated to be nonfiction, which included "The Audacity of Hope," published in 2006.

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