Eila and I just read two picture books about Obama. That’s Americans for you; as soon as they get a new president they introduce him to the kids. Can you imagine a flurry of picture books about Stephen Harper? But now that I think of it, I guess he hasn’t had nearly as interesting a life as Obama. Anyhow I’m noting two things. The first is that the authors of both books have hit on the same central, pivotal moment as critical to Obama’s search for identity: his epiphany in church. This is described in his autobiography as an important moment for him, but did not strike me as a defining moment. It was a choice the authors made. The second is that despite the fact that both books state that his mother was white, the illustrators draw her a sort of dark white, or tawny — and without the words I would have seen her as African American. What’s with that? Mixed race couples too hot for the kids?