NEW YORK - First lady Laura Bush, a former teacher well known for her advocacy of books, is now writing one.
Bush and her daughter, Jenna, are collaborating on a children's picture story, currently untitled, that will be published by HarperCollins in spring 2008. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but the authors' net proceeds will be donated to two education programs: Teach for America and The New Teacher Project.
"I am delighted to have the opportunity to partner with one of my favorite teachers, my daughter Jenna, to write a children's book - and to have it illustrated by the wonderfully talented artist, Denise Brunkus," the first lady said in a statement issued Thursday by HarperCollins.
Brunkus is the illustrator for the popular Junie B. Jones series, about the sassy grade-schooler whose fresh mouth - including a fondness for the word "stupid" - has inspired much laughter from children and some frowns from parents.
She seems a good fit for the Bush book, which, according to HarperCollins, "depicts a mischievous little boy who likes to do everything but read. With the help of his teacher, he finds out that books and their characters can be a lot of fun.
"The story is loosely based on Mrs. Bush's and Jenna's experiences as teachers," according to the statement.
"My mom has been my lifelong inspiration, sharing her love of reading and books with (my sister) Barbara and me since we were little girls," Jenna Bush said in a statement. "I've taken that passion into the classroom. I hope this book will help kids realize the importance and fun that reading can add to their daily lives."
Books from first ladies, and first children, have been increasingly common over the years. Then-first lady Barbara Bush, wife of the first President Bush, had a best-seller with "Millie's Book," named for the family's dog. Bush's successor, Hillary Clinton, continued the pet trend with "Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets" and "It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Me."
Jenna Bush has her own book coming out in the fall. "Ana's Story," based on her time working for UNICEF, tells of a 17-year-old single mother who is HIV positive.