‘Dear Donald Trump’ takes the reader on a one-sided journey from Sam’s perspective. Sam has a problem, he must share a room with his older brother and it’s not going well ‘I have to share it with my big brother who exactly fits your description of an undesirable person’. Sam sees Donald Trump on the news wanting to build a wall, Sam deciding that a wall could be the answer to his bedroom sharing angst, and starts writing to Donald Trump about the intricacies of wall building.
The letters Sam writes to Donald Trump explain the difficulties that he is facing in getting his parents to agree to his wall ‘I don’t know about you but I’m getting a lot of negative feedback’. The letters delicately highlight the problems of living with others during times of conflict and the as the book progresses, the steps to ‘Harmony’.
Anne Villeneuve has illustrated the story in such a way that the reader seems to float alongside the story, as if we are inside the thoughts of Sam, each illustration does not fill the page, but floats with curved edges, almost as if she’s plucked an image from Sam’s mind or memory. The colour palette is muted and the water colours and line drawings are gestural yet convey so much movement and emotion. Donald Trump is never pictured reading Sam’s letters, instead he’s busily eating a burger, building a wall of blocks in the oval office and on the golf course.
Long after Donald Trump is out of office this story will have meaning, an example of the importance of communication and negotiation and kindness to everyone! How with both communication and negotiation, problems and differences in views can be resolved. I think that is where the strength in this book lies for me, the message is bigger than the man in the title.
Title: Dear Donald Trump
Author: Sophie Siers
Illustrator: Anne Villeneuve
Publisher: Millwood Press
Date of publication: 1 August 2018
Reviewer: Louana McCormack, Librarian, Opaheke School, Auckland
How highly are you recommending this book? Highly recommended.
First sentence: Dear Donald Trump, I’m writing you a letter from my bedroom in New Zealand.
You can buy this book here