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Obama now subject of 60 kids' books

Nov. 17, 2009 at 11:35 PM

MANHATTAN, Kan., Nov. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama has been the subject of more children's books in less than a year than his predecessor was in eight years, a researcher says.

Phil Nel, a professor of English at Kansas State University, said about 60 books have been written about the president, about 25 before his election and 35 since. That doesn't count books about Obama's relatives and Bo, the White House dog.

Nel presented a paper, "Obamafiction for Children: Imagining the 44th U.S. President," at the American Studies Association conference in Washington, D.C.

"For those unfamiliar with the American book market, to have this many children's books about a candidate or a president so soon in his term of office is rather unusual," Nel said. "After eight years in office, George W. Bush inspired 17 fewer titles than Obama."

Nel said the two books he looked at most closely portray Obama as someone bringing the country together.

"Obama received a minority -- 43 percent -- of the white vote, 62 percent of the Asian vote, 67 percent of the Hispanic vote, as well as a hyper-majority -- 95 percent -- of the African-American vote," Nel said. "These results hardly signify the irrelevance of race."

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