Sam has a problem. He has to share a room with his older brother and things aren’t easy. When Sam sees Donald Trump on TV talking about ‘the wall’ he realises a solution is at hand! Who knew that planning a wall could be so tricky?
So begins a series of letters from Sam's New Zealand bedroom to the White House. He writes to the President with the thoughts and opinions of everyone from his teachers to his parents. Sam doesn't give up, practicing building the wall using sand and stones, determined to keep his 'undesirable' brother to his side of the room.
Dear Donald Trump deals with incredibly complex and important issues through an innocent sibling drama. It's a charming story that will spark a conversation with young children about kindness, compassion and peace in this turbulent time. While younger-aged readers may not fully grasp the political context, any brother or sister understands sibling rivalry. For those older readers, the book is a simple way to spark a wider conversation about Trump's ideas.
Illustrator Anne Villeneuve does a fantastic job with the artwork. With whimsical water colours, each pages tells both Sam's and Trump's tale in a simple stylised way. Time and time again Sam's letters are pushed aside by the President for more important things - the golf course, a bath, or official business. Until, the final letter Sam pens. The final illustration in the book is a touching endpoint to the story, showing a way forward of peace and cooperation. The finale illustration really is one of a thousand words.
Siers has done a brilliant job of creating a unique picture book with a strong message about the current political climate. All at once, Dear Donald Trump is serious yet heartfelt, with a message-driven tale for readers of all ages.
Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser Millwood Press, RRP $27.95