Sunday, May 24, 2009

Review: Obama - The Historic Journey

Summary: Including his inauguration as the 44th president of the United States, this beautifully designed book tells the extraordinary story of Barack Obama's life and rise to power in both words and photographs.

The young readers hardcover edition is specifically written and designed to appeal to and inspire the 8-12 age group, with age-appropriate text and a different selection of photographs and illustrations. It is in a slightly smaller format (9" x 10 7/8") and includes 96 pages, with 200 full-color photographs. -- The New York Times

Regardless of your political preferences, there is no question that history was made in January 2009 when Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. Like many Americans, my husband and I follow politics pretty closely (especially this election), and we found ourselves discussing it at the dinner table many times over the past year. Our kids, nine and four, couldn't help but pick up on it; and as a result, they became extremely interested in the election too. (See my little aside comment at the end of this post.)

Books about Obama's journey have been everywhere, but I was so excited to see that there was a wonderful book written especially for young readers -- OBAMA: THE HISTORIC JOURNEY YOUNG READER'S EDITION. This book is published by The New York Times and is just filled with over 200 beautiful color photographs. It does a fantastic job of capturing the entire journey of Barack Obama from his early childhood right up through the inauguration and his first few weeks in office.

I know this book is supposed to be geared towards young readers, but I absolutely loved reading it. This book contained loads of historical information about Mr. Obama and his family, but it was extremely easy to read. It had just enough information to explain the entire journey without bogging down the reader with unnecessary details. The book was divided into small chapters and then had small features within these chapters. It was also filled with tons of gorgeous photos that make this book nice enough to sit out on your coffee table.

I know I sound like a broken record, but the photos in this book are amazing! I love how so many of them captured the essence of Obama as a man rather than a political figure. It's hard to pick just one or two that really stand out because there are tens of dozens that are memorable; however, there is one of President Obama with his daughters that I absolutely adore. The way he is looking at them is just so special, and I think it really shows that he is a loving father to his girls.

I was pleasantly surprised by the coverage of the events in this book. Not only did I think the coverage was very thorough, but I also thought it was unbiased. I enjoyed the sections where I could learn about Obama's youth; however, I thought the strength of this book was on the coverage of the election. I thought the book did a fair job of showing the brilliant way that Mr. Obama ran this historic election, but it also showed some of his mishaps along the way. I also thought the book did an excellent job of capturing not only Obama's run, but also McCain's attempt and where things went wrong for him.

My nine year old daughter claims that she is a little on the young side to read the entire book; however, I did find her looking at the pictures over and over again! Of course, she did manage to read all of the sections about the Obama girls and comment on all of Michelle's dresses. I have a feeling that we will be referencing this book many times in the next few years -- hopefully to learn more about President Obama rather than his family and their wardrobe!

I highly recommend this gorgeous, yet informative, book for both children and adults alike. A big thanks to Mothertalk for allowing me to participate in this book blog tour!

A little aside: I wasn't aware that my four year old son was learning about each of the candidates at his preschool. He came home one day telling me that John "The King" and Barock Obama (he said it with a heavy emphasis on the O and then rushed the bama part -- very funny) both wanted to be president. I wasn't sure I heard him correctly because it came from nowhere. I asked him to point out each of them from pictures and he didn't hesitate for a second. He told me that "The King" was old and Obama had funny ears and a funny smile. Out of the mouth of babes!


Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

Great review! I will have to look for this, both for myself and my kids. It's so funny how they pronounce things sometimes, isn't it?

Shannansbooks said...

Great Review. I picked another young reader book on Obama called Yes We Can. I hope to get to it soon. I found it at Target. Kids are so funny aren't they.

Beth F said...

Sounds like a good one for middle or young readers. I loved the aside. Go President Ba Rocko Bama.

Karlie said...

It's always nice to learn more about our presidents. But I wonder if the NY Times has written children's books about other presidents...

Amy said...

Too cute! I'm glad there's a good book out there for the young ones to learn from Which reminds me, I actually need to review that book about Michelle's style..

bermudaonion said...

That does look like a good book. Booking Son is so observant! We should all start calling the President Rocko!