KidsPost

KidsPost Summer Book Club: 'Dear President Obama'

"Dear President Obama: Letters of Hope From Children Across America," Edited by Bruce Kluger and David Tabatsky, Ages 6 and older
"Dear President Obama: Letters of Hope From Children Across America," Edited by Bruce Kluger and David Tabatsky, Ages 6 and older
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The historic election of Barack Obama was exciting for many children; in fact, among kids, few presidential elections (or candidates) have created such interest in national politics. The authors of "Dear President Obama" saw that enthusiasm and found a great way to show the feelings of hope and optimism that so many children felt during and after the election.

The layout of this book makes it easy to spend a little or a lot of time reading it. Most of the letters are shown exactly as they were written, on personal stationery and in the child's own handwriting. (And some of it is very good handwriting!)

Some of the kids offer the kind of advice that shows just how much young people today know about what is going on in the world. The letters raise issues about helping the environment, having enough money for groceries, stopping the wars and many other serious subjects. "We all have to work together to solve these problems," wrote 12-year-old Patrick Smith of Ijamsville, Md.

But then there are letters that just take you by surprise and make you giggle, such as the one from 6-year-old Juliet, who asked the president to free all the lions from the zoos. (Yikes!) Or the 9-year-old boy who wants taxes to be lowered so his parents will have more money to buy him toys. A 5-year-old from New Jersey wrote that the president should get everyone in a circle so they can listen to one another.

Hey, it works in preschool!

-- Margaret Webb Pressler


© 2009 The Washington Post Company