After months of waiting, my neighborhood library reopened, and I could borrow books again. Yahoo!!! I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating, it's one of the finest places on earth. This time I found books on elections.
With the 2020 Presidential election upon us, I thought it imperative to read and review picture books on the topic.
I've done a series of mini-reviews to aid you in quickly finding quality books to read to your children.
Author: Margaret McNamara
Illustrator: Micah Player
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books (Division of Penguin Random House)
Rating: 5 Lemon Drops
Elections may by for grown-ups, but when Stanton Elementary School transforms into a polling place, the students become a vital part of the election process.
In no uncertain terms, these civic minded kids prove that despite being unable to vote, there are other ways they can get involved. After reading voter guides and researching election history, the students help spread the word about the upcoming election and why it’s so important to vote.
They help their adult family members make plans to vote and encourage their neighbors to take advantage of this opportunity to make changes.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “I don’t like lines either,” answered Nadiya’s auntie, “but if we stand in line for coffee, or for a movie, or at a bank…”
The perfect rebuttal for anyone who doesn’t like standing in lines to vote (provided the polling station’s waiting times are reasonable).
A marvelous tribute to children and future voters of America!
I enjoyed everything about this book! Let’s start with the title, Vote For Our Future. As parents and teachers, we all want to make the world a better place for our kiddos’ future. This book reminds us that voting is one way to achieve this goal.
The cover sends a positive message to children and adults. From the hopeful expressions on the characters’ faces to the camaraderie as they march in civic-minded unison. Talk about a grassroots movement, these children are motivated, educated, and dedicated to their cause.
The illustrations are adorable and capture the excitement for learning students feel when given the freedom to pursue their interests. As soon as you crack the cover, a collage of colorful voting stickers, with voting puns and positive phrases, catches your eye. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants their children to learn about elections and how vital they are to our democracy.
Author: Doreen Cronin
Illustrator: Betsy Lewin
Publisher: Anthem Books For Young Readers (an imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing Division)
Rating: 5 Lemon Drops
It’s election season on the farm and Duck is the lead contender against the incumbent farmer, Farmer Brown. Upon winning the popular vote, Duck takes over as farmer and soon learns that running a farm is hard work. Overworked and unsatisfied, he searches for jobs in loftier places.
He becomes Governor and shortly after, accomplishes what no other duck has done before—he is elected President of the United States. Through all of this, Duck learns one important fact, no matter what your profession, you can’t escape hard work. In the end, Duck reconnects with his roots. He returns to the farm and begins writing his autobiography.
Duck For President is one of my all time favorite picture books. Whenever I taught about elections or President’s Day, I always included this book in my lesson plans. Lewin’s watercolors encapsulate the hilarity of Cronin’s text. Children and adults will chuckle their way through the pages all the while learning a little about the electoral process.
Author: Herman Parish
Illustrator: Lynne Avril
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers)
Rating: 4 Lemon Drops
It’s election day at Amelia Bedelia’s school! Through a series of unlucky coincidences, Amelia helps her school pass new rules the students vote on.
As with all of Amelia’s zany misadventures, she comes out on top. We can find a lot of great lessons between the pages of this charming book. I appreciated how effortlessly Parish wrote key vocabulary into the story (election related words like runoff, absentee ballot, swing vote, as well as words and phrases with double meanings like tie, hug the wall, and sleep on it).
Author: Ann Patchett
Illustrator: Robin Preiss Glasser
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Rating: 4 Lemon Drops
After misinterpreting lambslide for landslide, a flock of lambs campaign to have a giant slide built on the farm where they live.
A super cute story! I loved the play on words and the introduction to the democratic process. I also enjoyed how the characters cooperated to achieve their goal.
Glassers’ sweet illustrations perfectly capture the characters’ emotions.
What books are you and your children reading about the upcoming elections?