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Obama writes children's book

President Barack Obama has written a book for children that focuses on inspirational leaders from American history.

President Barack Obama has written a book for children that focuses on inspirational leaders from American history.

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters has tributes to 13 groundbreaking Americans, including the first president, George Washington, baseball great Jackie Robinson and artist Georgia O'Keeffe.

Publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a unit of Random House, plans to print 500,000 copies of the illustrated book for release Nov. 16, two weeks after the U.S. midterm elections.

The cover features an illustration of Obama's daughters, Sasha and Malia, walking their dog Bo in a grassy field.

The book's illustrator is Loren Long, who also created art for books such as The Little Engine That Could, Toy Boat and Otis.

The 40-page book is aimed at readers aged three and up and will sell for $17.99 US.

The president will donate any proceeds from sales of the book to "a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled soldiers serving our nation," the publisher said in a statement.

Obama wrote the book before he became president as part of a three-book deal with Random House.

"It is an honour to publish this extraordinary book, which is an inspiring marriage of words and images, history and story," Chip Gibson, president and publisher with Random House Children's Books, said in a statement.

"Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans — the potential to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths."

Obama previously authored two adult books, Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope.

With files from The Associated Press