(Let’s just pretend it’s Thursday, because I could not finish this post yesterday with my head full of cold.)
With the election just days away, let’s see who’s running for office in fictional picture books.
Grace for President, written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
When Grace wonders why there haven’t been any women presidents (sorry, Hillary), her teacher uses her question to teach about presidential elections with a school-wide election. Grace runs for president against a boy in another class. Even though Grace works hard on her campaign, the boy relies on the Boy Vote to put him in office. The children represent states with the all-important electoral college votes. In the end, the election comes down to one kid — a boy. Will he follow the Boy Vote, or will he look at the best candidate? C’mon it’s a children’s book. Of course the best candidate wins. (America can only hope for so much.) This is a great book to talk about campaigns, elections, and the electoral college. The message that women and African Americans can be president is perfect and ridiculously timely.
Max for President, written and illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Max and Kelly both want to be class president. They both make signs and buttons and promises. Kelly wins. However, “Kelly knew that she needed a good vice president to help get work done.” Taking that responsibility seriously — unlike some candidates — Kelly picks Max and they work together to make the school better. The book is simple in text and concept, but would be a nice preschool introduction to elections, cooperation, and the importance of picking a great vice president.
Duck for President, written by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
The animals at the farm decide that they don’t like their chores and hold an election to get rid of Farmer Brown. Duck helps with voter registration, and wins the election by a landslide! But he finds running a farm is hard work, so he puts his new campaigning skills to work for a higher office. And then still higher! Of course, as you might expect, he finds running the country very hard work, and so he leaves the vice president in charge (again, the vice president’s office seems pretty important) and takes another path. Kids will love the silliness of the book, but the basics of campaigns and elections are represented. Adults may chuckle at Duck playing the saxophone on late-night TV à la Clinton. Lots of fun.