First published in New Zealand in July 2018, Dear Donald Trump is a witty picture book about a boy with a problem. Sam has to share a room with his older brother and things aren’t easy. When he sees Donald Trump on TV talking about ‘the wall’ he realises this could be the solution! But who knew that planning a wall could be so tricky? The letters from Sam to Trump that follow invite conversations about the question of living with others in times of conflict with the text working on different levels for both children and adults.
Conflict is the same, big or small, and so is power, or the lack of it. As parents, it’s what we hope to teach our children; how to understand conflict and how to use our power for outcomes that work for everybody.
Katie Haworth said: “I stumbled on Dear Donald Trump by Sophie Siers via a friend in New Zealand. I was intrigued! It seemed very brave to write a picture book story featuring Trump’s wall. As soon I read the book, I knew we had to publish it. What I found was a gently humorous, sensitive story about two brothers. It is framed around Sam’s understanding of Trump’s wall and his idea that a similar solution might solve his problems. What I especially love about it, is that it’s the perfect book to help parents discuss current events with their children as it looks at the world from a child’s point of view, and it makes relatable comparisons with everyday life – and history. Villeneuve’s illustrations are whimsical and Siers’ Sam is a smart, questioning young character who isn’t afraid to admit that he might be wrong.”
Sophie Siers added: “What does a child do when things aren’t working in his family, particularly when they have to share a bedroom with their big brother? It’s a common sibling problem in many families. I wanted to explore this idea through the lens of our current political landscape. Conflict is the same, big or small, and so is power, or the lack of it. As parents, it’s what we hope to teach our children; how to understand conflict and how to use our power for outcomes that work for everybody. Dear Donald Trump is a book that I hope will remind us all, big and small, that we all deal with the same issues, it’s how we discuss, negotiate and work with them that counts.”