Gift Guide

Michelle Obama: First Mom


Written in free verse, this book tells the life of Michelle Obama from her birth and early years in Chicago through her career and early marriage to Barack Obama and ends with his inauguration.

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Written in free verse, this book tells the life of Michelle Obama from her birth and early years in Chicago through her career and early marriage to Barack Obama and ends with his inauguration.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—This companion book to Obama: Only in America (Marshall Cavendish, 2010) focuses on Michelle Obama's childhood and schooling as she grew up in Chicago, got an ivy-league education, and married Barack Obama. Readers will learn more about her home life and parents than about her role as a mom, despite the subtitle of this book. Barrett's oil paintings have a soft-focus, sepia cast, placing them in the past to capture Chicago, everyday events, and milestones from the First Lady's history. Each spread features text opposite a full-page or page-and-a-quarter image of her reading, playing piano, studying a chessboard opposite her brother, going to school, or having dinner with her family. Only the last three pictures include her daughters. "Why we look up to her is not because she is stunning and stylish at nearly six feet tall, but because she is a walking, talking American success story" concludes Weatherford. The broad focus and laudatory quality of this picture-book biography create an overview greatly enhanced by the illustrations, but young readers seeking information about the First Mom will find more in Deborah Hopkinson's First Family (HarperCollins, 2010).—Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

The author and illustrator of Obama: Only in America (2010) offer a companion life of the First Lady, showing the values of her childhood family and summarizing her schooling and her current role. Barrett's realistic oil paintings, done on canvas in muted tones, serve as a series of full-bleed portraits that chronicle her growth. Opposite, a few lines of spare text outline her life. The dedication page includes a vignette, a set of books, perhaps from a children's literature series of the time. This reappears on each text page, reminding readers of the bookish nature of this "walking talking American success story." Curiously, though the subtitle highlights her role as mother, the children's first appearance is on the next-to-last spread, in which Obama is shown coming home to kiss her girls goodnight during the presidential campaign. This disappointing biography may appeal to parents looking for inspiring stories of successful women, but it's unfortunate that the author has defined success only in terms of her subject's acceptance at prestigious schools and marriage. (Picture book/biography. 4-7)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761456407
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Carole Boston Weatherford is the author of Obama: Only in America; First Pooch: The Obamas Pick a Pet ; and Racing Against the Odds: The Story of Wendell Scott, Stock Car Racing's African-American Champion. She is also the author of other biographies about prominent African-American figures. A Fayetteville State University professor, Carole lives with her husband, son, and daughter in High Point, North Carolina.

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