The President Sang Amazing Grace is one of those books that has less than 100 words (I assume as I am not counting). Therefore, how do you write about it? The only thing I can say is first what it is about: A young man was welcomed into a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. He seemed to pray along with the others. About an hour later, he would stand and take the lives of nine other people. And then, President Barack Obama sang “Amazing Grace” during his eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney.
This powerful action shaped history. It is an emotional book overall. The story, song and that emotion is presented by Zoe Mulfor, along with the watercolors of Jeff Scher. Mentioned is the participation of Joan Baez and the short film by Rick Litvin. There are pages about the nine people killed and other information as well, such as the sheet music.
This is not necessarily for children. It is also something they should be exposed to. It is a complex book in the simplicity of the presentation. And while the text is strong and moving, it was the textured look of the illustrations that I mostly related with. I like the almost abstract, even romantic feel, to the colors and the lines. Details are minimal but they are there to move and push things to where the creators wanted.
If you are sensitive to such matter, I would recommend a box of tissues. I needed a few myself, and that was only for the reading of the words of Amazing Grace (can you imagine what I am like when I actually hear the song?).