105 Ways to Give a Book

Poetry Friday: Some Nights

In the past, I've posted some videos on Poetry Friday with the belief that some of our best, new poems are coming in the form of lyrics. This is a song that I've wanted to highlight for a while, but I found the original video distracting instead of illuminating the words. While I'm only a casual watcher of Glee now - and just because I love some of the musical choices - this is one of my favorite performances on the show. In the Glee universe, it addresses my ongoing problem with the show that a show choir would focus on group, not solo, performances. But in Poetry Friday context, because the video keeps the focus on the words and the feelings behind them:
Well, some nights, I wish that this all would end
Cause I could use some friends for a change
And some nights, I'm scared you'll forget me again
Some nights, I always win, I always win...

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for, oh
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don't know



Do check out the original song by the group Fun, which is fuller than this version and has an intense vocal mix that you won't soon forget. Poetry Friday is hosted today at The Poem Farm.



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150 Ways to Give a Book

For all of your holiday shopping needs, here are 150 Ways to Give a Book, grouped by (approximate) age. They are all MotherReader-approved titles — i.e., Good Books. There are a lot more choices for younger kids, as that’s the group we adult most fear disappointing with giving “only” a book. And picture books are my specialty. After the book and gift selections, I’ve also included ways to wrap a book, and book-themed gifts to include for a variety of ages. There are new 2012 titles mixed in with older ones — though there aren’t many classics, as I’ve tried to select books that kids would be less likely to have on their shelves.

Sometimes I choose the hardback when the paperback is also available, so check if that is important to you. I’ve also linked to the fun extras through Amazon, for example, to save you shopping time, and because I get some small credit for your purchases through the Amazon Associates program. But know that you can find cheaper alternatives for some small things — paints, pens, journals, etc. — at a local discount store. On the other hand, doing all your purchases online and having them sent to your door is priceless.

Multi-Age
  1. Give an experience like a trip to a zoo, aquarium, museum, aviary, arena, or city. Put the passes, tickets, or homemade gift certificate with a relevant book to make it feel more tangible.
  2. Take a road trip with Ask Me so you can use the driving time to ask each other the interesting questions from the book.
  3. Give a book with a movie theater gift card to see the upcoming film.
  4. Give a book with a gift card to rent the movie. Include a box of microwave popcorn.
  5. One Hen - How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference
  6. Give One Hen — How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference with a loan to Kiva or a donation to Heifer International to buy chicks. For more charity and book matches, look to this list from Abby the Librarian.
  7. Pair any book with another book from the bargain section, maybe something silly or crafty or gimmicky.
  8. Pair a detective book with a magnifying glass.
  9. Match poetry books with word beads or magnetic poetry.
  10. Pair a picture book with a related stuffed animal.
  11. Give an interesting, insightful book with a restaurant gift card and a date to discuss the book together over a meal.
  12. Honor the book enthusiast with necklace along with a new title.
  13. Celebrate writing too with special journals from Tara Books, an independent press based in India.
Picture Books
  1. Learn letters with ABC, Baby Me! board book or The Sleepy Little Alphabet and letter links.
  2. Or work with numbers (and colors) with 10 Hungry Rabbits and magnetic numbers.
  3. Give Jeremy Draws a Monster with a pack of fat crayons and a stack of copy paper from an office supply store.
  4. Blue Chicken
  5. Or go with Art and Max or Blue Chicken with a paint set.
  6. Pair The Curious Garden with gardening tools and seeds.
  7. It’s almost dessert when you give The Cow Loves Cookies with a cookie counting game.
  8. Get moving with Dancing Feet with Fisher Price: Disco Dance Party CD.
  9. Keep up the music giving Drum City with an old-time tin drum.
  10. What else can go with Extra Yarn but extra yarn? Well, and knitting needles and instructions.
  11. Pair Kite Flying and/or Kite Daywith a new kite.
  12. Give Bats at the Ballgame with a bat and ball. You can throw in a coupon book for practice sessions.
  13. Little Owl’s Night
  14. Take a bedtime book like Little Owl’s Night, A Bedtime for Bear or Sweet Dreams and add a night light.
  15. Or choose A Full Moon is Rising or Moonlight with glow-in-the-dark moon and stars — or go high tech with this Moon in my Room.
  16. Pair Bubble Trouble with touchable bubbles.
  17. Ballet dancers will love Brontorina or Bea at Ballet with a fancy tutu or two… two.
  18. Give little superheroes SuperHero ABC along with a superhero cape.
  19. Encourage a future Iron Chef by giving Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon with a cooking set.
  20. Silliness ensues with Pigs to the Rescue and the Pass the Pigs game.
  21. Take it outside with Chalk with 3-D sidewalk chalk.
  22. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
  23. Pair Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site or Building with Dad with toy construction vehicles.
  24. Give Yuck! That’s Not a Monster! with the Moody Monsters Memory Game.
  25. Who can resist that match-up of Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek with Lincoln Logs?
  26. Give your little dragon-lover Hush Little Dragon or Guess What I Found in Dragon Wood with a cute dragon.
  27. Is there a doctor in the house? There will be with picture book Doctor Ted along with a doctor kit.
  28. Future firefighter instead? Give Fire! Fuego! along with Firefighters A to Z and firefighter gear.
  29. Pair picture book Crafty Chloe with a selection of craft supplies.
  30. What else can go with Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum other than lots of bubble gum.
  31. Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku
  32. Cat lovers can enjoy picture books I Don’t Want a Cool Cat, Katie Loves the Kittens, and Won Ton with a cat card game.
  33. Or let the dogs out with Dogs, Charlie the Ranch Dog, and If You Give a Dog a Donut and dog themed dominoes.
  34. Inspire young builders with Iggy Peck, Architect and a building set.
  35. Nature lovers will enjoy Birdsongs along with a guidebook like Backyard Birds and some binoculars.
  36. For more nature, pair Butterfly Tree with a butterfly garden kit.
  37. Give your favorite girly-girl Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy with dress-up jewelry and/or a fancy poodle.
  38. Give your rough little boy Pirates Don’t Change Diapers along with genuine pirate gear.
  39. Take sweet picture book Lissy’s Friends and pair it with an origami kit.
  40. Make a perfect pairing with Elsie’s Bird and a singing bird music box.
  41. Picture books A Sick Day for Amos McGee or Pssst! would be perfect with a zoo animal collection or game.
  42. Or head down to the Farm, adding a Lace and Trace Farm Set.
  43. Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things That Make Me Happy is a book that deserves its own bathrobe and/or bubble bath.
  44. For a western theme, give A Night on the Range or Every Cowgirl Loves a Rodeowith a cowboy hat.
  45. Another nighttime choice is Goodnight, Little Monster with an Ugly Doll.
  46. Give picture book The Moon with a special flashlight and a promise for a nighttime walk or two.
  47. Blackout
  48. Or for a different angle with that flashlight, pair with Blackout and prepare for indoor fun with the lights out.
  49. Take a special book, like Wow! It Sure is Good to Be You (which is about an aunt loving her far-away niece), and make a CD recording of you reading it.
  50. Pair Duck and Goose with a bright spotted ball.
  51. The funny wordless book Once Upon a Banana is a perfect fit with a stuffed monkey — but show your sense of humor by throwing a banana into the gift bag.
  52. Another wordless book choice is the visually stunning The Tree House, which works surprisingly well with Littlest Pet Shop brown bear and polar bear.
  53. Give The Snow Globe Family with a snow globe.
  54. Pair Lilly’s Big Day with dress-up clothes.
  55. Or another dress-up option is the Ladybug Girl books with wings and antennae.
  56. Pair Bubble Bath Pirates with a cool rubber duck.
  57. Give the wonderful The Day the Babies Crawled Away with a baby doll.
  58. Everyone needs Mo Willems’ book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, maybe adding a toy bus and a cargo truck.
  59. Pair classic A Bargain For Frances with a tea set.
Early Elementary
    Boy! Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs
  1. Pair a nonfiction book about dinosaurs, like Boy! Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs, with a bunch of plastic ones.
  2. Give Instructions with a book of classic fairy tales, and make time to read them together.
  3. Expand the idea of giving with The One and Only Ivan with an adopt-an-animal program at your local zoo.
  4. Or give Goal! with a soccer ball and a donation to Project Play.
  5. Introduce a folktale with Maneki Neko: the Tale of the Beckoning Cat and giving lucky cat bank.
  6. Pair silly beginning reader book The Monster in the Backpack with a cute backpack (monster additional).
  7. Give beginning reader books Amazing Sharks! and National Geographic Readers: Sharks! and throw in a shark on a stick.
  8. Take to the ice with book choices Katie Kazoo, On Thin Ice and passes to the local ice-skating rink.
  9. Toys Go Out
  10. Pair Toys Go Out with a red bouncy ball, or a stuffed stingray or buffalo.
  11. Pair Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs with a kazoo.
  12. Give early chapter book series books Ella the Rose Fairy (Rainbow Faires series) or Rose’s Special Secret (Flower Fairies series) with a lovely little fairies.
  13. Blooming fashionistas will appreciate Paper Fashions (Klutz) (all thirty-five Amazon reviews gave five stars!) along with Fashion Kitty and the Unlikely Hero.
  14. Combine sweet Jenny and the Cat Club with a red scarf (don’t worry if it’s too long — so is Jenny’s) and a black cat.
Elementary
  1. Pair Operation YES! with green army men.
  2. Percy Jackson
  3. Be a hero and give Percy Jackson and the Olympians Boxed Set with Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek Myths.
  4. Pair fantasy book Savvy with with an assortment of temporary or henna tattoos.
  5. Give What the World Eats with a promise for an international dinner out or in.
  6. Pair Every Soul a Star with The Kids Book of the Night Sky and plan a date to look at the stars together.
  7. You can’t go wrong with the funny poems and outstanding art in Frankenstein Takes the Cake along with a cake-baking session, followed by reading the book together. As a matter of fact, throw in Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and make a whole day — and a meal — of it.
  8. Speaking of the amazing Adam Rex, give the hilarious book The True Meaning of Smekday with a the related T-shirt Regarding Stickyfish Teams, I Favor the Bigfield Fighting Koobish.
  9. For business-minded kids, pair The Lemonade War with a coin counter bank.
  10. All the elementary school kids will love The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but you can pair it with tin wind-up toys for extra flair.
  11. Give Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little with um, Stuart Little.
  12. Give Kimchi & Calamari with a promise for a dinner out Korean style, or Italian style, or both.
  13. Wrap up A Crooked Kind of Perfect with excellent toe socks.
  14. Perhaps Fabulous Hair with a collection of hair accessories will make someone smile.
  15. Pair a diary-format book like Lucy Rose: Big on Plans (3rd/4th grade), Amelia’s Notebook (4th/5th grade), or The Princess Diaries (6th/7th grade) with a journal and fun pens.
  16. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Third Wheel
  17. For a boy, how about the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Third Wheel with the Do It Yourself Journal?
  18. Or maybe Here Be Monsters! with a Nightmare Snatcher Journal.
  19. Have fun with Clarice Bean Spells Trouble and a game of Scrabble.
  20. Pair Phineas MacGuire... Erupts! with a science kit, or the next book in the series, Phineas MacGuire... Gets Slimed! with the slime science kit.
  21. Look to fantastic nonfiction, giving Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon with a homemade coupon for a visit to the Air and Space Museum (okay, this might only work around Washington, D.C.) or astronaut ice cream.
  22. Give a drawing book like Draw 50 Aliens or Draw 50 Animals with a couple of nice sketch pads.
  23. Pair a spy-themed book like Harriet the Spy (chapter book) or The Real Spy’s Guide to Becoming a Spy (nonfiction) with rear-view sunglasses and/or a fingerprint kit.
  24. World According to Humphrey
  25. Bigger girls like stuffed animals, too. How about Hoot with an owl or The World According to Humphrey with a hamster?
  26. Select a magic book and fun magic tricks.
  27. Pair D.I.Y.: Kids with a gift card to a local craft store, and maybe some shopping and crafting time together.
  28. Match the book and the movie, like The Spiderwick Chronicles with the DVD.
  29. Pair a theme book like Katie and the Mustang with a horse charm and a satin cord from a craft store.
  30. Or maybe Fairy Realm with a charm bracelet.
  31. Give the first books of The Series of Unfortunate Events with a brass telescope.
  32. Pair The Art Book for Children with watercolor paints or an art set.
  33. Give Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart or Poetry Speaks to Children with hot chocolate, a mug, and a gift certificate for time to read it together.
Teen
  1. Give the companion books Goth Girl Rising and The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl , and throw in How to Draw Comic Book Heroes and Villains.
  2. Pair a book that you and a teen can enjoy with a gift card to Starbucks and a promise to talk about the book over coffee. Some suggestions? Liar, Candor, or The Adoration of Jenna Fox have interesting issues.
  3. Beauty Queens
  4. Give Beauty Queens with a small makeup kit, and a healthy dose of irony.
  5. Rock out with Beige along with a mix CD of the songs in the chapter titles (or an iTunes gift card).
  6. Buy a teen Dramarama along with tickets to a show.
  7. Pair House of Dance with ballroom dance lessons.
  8. Give delicious book A La Carte with personal cooking lessons.
  9. Match casino gambling themed Drop with a deck of cards and a family game of penny poker or blackjack.
  10. Pair King Dork with a CD of The Mr. T Experience.
  11. Treat a tween to Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf along with pink nail polish, lipstick, post-it notes, and special bubble bath, as mentioned in the book.
  12. Pair The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting and/or the completely unrelated YA fiction Chicks with Sticks with yarn, knitting needles, and a promise for some lessons.
  13. Give Ductigami: The Art of Tape with... well, rolls of duct tape.
Adult
  1. Give nonfiction book Fruitless Fall with real honey from a whole foods store.
  2. Geography of Bliss
  3. Buy two copies of The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World  — one for you, one for a friend — and make a lunch date to talk about the book and one’s personal quest for happiness.
  4. Pair Life is Sweet with chocolate, any kind.
  5. Give This I Believe II with the first book This I Believe and a journal to capture great revelations of inner truth.
  6. Recapture that one exciting election year when we had hope with Dreams From My Father and Life’s The American Journey of Barack Obama.
  7. Match travel memoir-themed books with the... um, drink of the region. Like In a Sunburned County with Yellow Tail wine from Australia or The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific with coconut rum. (Adults only for this gift, obviously.)
  8. Colbert fans and soon-to-be converts need the new book, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't along with the greatest gift of all, the DVD A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All.
  9. Give The Devil Wears Prada, Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, or Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office, and This Little Piggy Went to Prada in a Prada bag (from eBay! C’mon, a girl can dream...)
Wrap a Book
  1. Wrap your book up in solid paper and tie a cool scarf around it. I love this red and white striped one, which would look great with red or green paper.
  2. For just a little something extra, make these headbands the ribbons around your wrapped package.
  3. Strawberry bags
  4. Try reusable shopping bags — wrap in one, attach another in its pouch as a gift. These bags fold up into little strawberries. Cute!
  5. Or tuck a book or two in an Aeropostale tote.
  6. Wrap a cookbook in photocopies of your favorite recipes. A knitting book with your own favorite patterns. Or hey, wrap a book about finances in real money.
  7. Wrap your book up in a clever Threadless t-shirt. Want a literary theme? They’ve got that covered. But my favorite shirt has to be the Harry Potter inspired Tee Which Shall Not be Named.
  8. If you’re going the book gift card route, give it in a recycled newspaper change purse.
  9. Maybe you just want to attach a little something to the gift for fun. I suggest a keychain, bookmarks, an ornament, bangle-bracelets, locker magnets, or lip gloss. You can find these online, but personally, I go to the very back of Claire’s stores where they often have incredible discounts on such little things.
  10. Okay, I listed keychains, but here are some reading-themed ones like this one.
  11. And yes I mentioned bookmarks, but not a Reading Ninja bookmark.
  12. Don’t have the time or energy to deal with the mall? Find a little booklight to tie on the package. I like the look of this one
Add a Book-Themed, Handmade Gift
    Recycled Book Notecards
  1. Give recycled book postcards like these Armful of Books.
  2. Everyone isn’t on GoodReads, so here’s a little reading journal.
  3. For home, locker or cubicle cabinets, some reading-themed Bottle Cap Magnets.
  4. Bibliophiles don’t need to hide their love of the page with a Bookish necklace.
  5. Or proclaim a love of words on your ears with Shakespeare earrings.
  6. A sweet art print for people who love to read.
  7. Or for another take, a print of a favorite animal on vintage book pages. I’m a fan of this peacock, but you can pick from many kinds — like this artistic fantasy tree.
  8. Maybe give a tote to carry those tomes, but one with attitude — like My book club can beat up your book club. Book Fiend has many other gift ideas for literary folk
  9. Maybe give a book loving coffee mugs filled with chocolates for a special treat.
  10. Send out some love to the readers with a special cover of words.

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Nonfiction Monday: Citizen Scientists

A Nonfiction Monday contribution, with the round-up hosted at Perogies & Gyoza

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard
by Loree Griffin Burns, photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz

Henry Holt and Co, 2012 review from library copy

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own BackyardWell written and skillfully executed, this is the kind of book that could get kids excited about science by making their contributions to it more tangible. Sections show citizen scientists in each of the four seasons - Fall Butterflying, Winter Birding, Spring Frogging, and Summer Ladybugging - along with information on the background and research goals of each venture. The layout is attractive with different styles reflecting the type of information presented with good use of color, patterns, and photography. The concept of citizen scientists is explained and reinforced throughout describing being in the field, with page spreads focusing on a particular person involved in the research and lists of what you will need to prepare. There are also some quizzes, but there is no grade. The end of the book is full of information on taking the adventure from book to real life with books, field guides, and internet resources to the various organizations. The book provides a thorough bibliography, glossary, and index, along with the answers to the quizzes. An interesting and accessible look at science and scientists.


Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

I'm heading off shortly to sell tickets at lunchtime for the Teen's fall play. The high school is doing a creative adaptation of A Midsummer's Night Dream that involves the show Madmen and it's setting of 1960's New York City. There is a particularly interesting costume interpretation of the fairies in the woods of Central Park that is knocking me out. I seriously love the punkish Oberon and his fairy crew. I've seen some great photos from the show, but I'm wary of sharing pictures of other kids online. This one seems okay to me as the focus is Titania, otherwise known as my lovely daughter Anna, and there's a sense of the cool costuming without a clear look at any of the other characters.

Cool, right? If you're in the Northern Virginia area and want to see a great show, it's Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Lake Braddock. I'm going Thursday... and Friday and Saturday night. Hey, it's my kid as the fairy queen, who could resist!

Nonfiction Monday: Lives of the Presidents

With the results of Tuesday's election an entire category of books does not become obsolete, including today's title.

Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and what the Neighbors Thought)
by Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt, 2011

Harcourt Children's Books 2011, reviewed from library copy

Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and what the Neighbors Thought)Using a conversational style, regular "important" history and background - like former jobs, college, and marriages - is mixed with more personal information about our nation's Presidents. Each man is afforded only a few pages, keeping the descriptions tight and the book easy to dip into, making it a great selection for the classroom. The illustrations have a caricature feel to them incorporating hobbies, favorite things, and places. Some have backgrounds that fill out the places where they are from, but not all. There may be some sly digs like "A man of many appetitles, Clinton loved to schmooze." but the book doesn't shy away from mention of his affairs and impeachment hearings. As a sample of the writing on our still-current President Obama: "He tries to be healthy, but it's not entirely clear whether his promise to quit smoking has worked out. He eats salads, zucchini quesadillas, and Michelle's shrimp linguini, but never beets - he hates them." Fun insight combined with standard biographical facts offers a unique perspective in a concise and interesting book.

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today at The Flatt Perspective.



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Poetry Friday: Forget-Me-Nots

Tucked somewhere in old, old papers from my school days, is a collection of poetry that I memorized for extra credit. Today it seems well, old-school, but while our education system seems to emphasize memorized facts, we've lost the art of memorization as knowledge, as an art. While I can't claim that can recite those poems of my youth, I value the skill set learning how to memorize. That the techniques of memorization so fully unlock the levels of a poem was one concept that presented itself in this book.

Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart
selected by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michael Emberly

Little, Brown 2012, reviewed from library copy

Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by HeartDivided into categories that range from easier to harder and to logical grouping of animals, food, time, feelings and more, this collection of poetry is meant to be savored. More than savored, memorized. The poems were selected with this goal in mind, and reflect a broad range of styles and subjects for maximum appeal. The diverse group of poets include Carl Sandberg, Emily Dickinson, Edward Lear, Nikki Giovanni, Gary Soto, Naomi Shihab Nye, Walter Dean Myers, A.A. Milne, Eloise Greenfield, Odgen Nash, and many more. The author contributes several poems and lays out the reasoning and approach for learning a poem by heart. Some of that here in the first poem:
A Poem for the Reader
...
You'll pick out your favorites
From those that you've read
And invite them to live in
The house in your head.
This house is called Memory,
Everyone knows,
And the more you put in it,
The larger it grows.
The more that you give it,
The more it will give,
And your poems will live with you
As long as you live.
- Mary Ann Hoberman
With poems short and long, silly and serious, concrete and surreal, she's brought together a collection that expands the idea of a "children's poetry book" to something that will be shared with an adult with equal interest. Emberly's illustrations are a perfect fit with this concept, with styles adaptable to lighter or serious verse, showing humor, sensitivity, and a gentle touch that complements the text. Wonderful book for a classroom - think teacher gift! - or to read at home.

For more poetry books and poems, Poetry Friday is hosted today at Think Kid, Think!


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Why I Vote

Twelve years ago I told my four year old daughter to grab her coat because we were going to the park after voting. If she seemed particularly enthused, I barely noticed. The logistics of pulling two kids out of car seats may have also made me miss the first sign of confusion, and it was only as we started walking that she turned her adorable face up to me asking, "But where are the boats?"

"Oh honey," I replied. "We're voting today, not boating."

I can only point to a polished mothering skill set - and perhaps the fully stocked Girl Scout bake sale outside the polling place - that we avoided a full meltdown. That she accepted a flag sticker and brownie instead of a day on Lake Anna with her grandparents was an Election Day miracle.

Her disappointment then was to later reflect my own in the results of that election, where the direction of country was decided by about five hundred people. But it only reinforced my idea that every vote matters, even if you don't feel like dragging a couple of kids to the polls or subjecting one to what could have been a pivotal moment in future trust issues.

Anyway, in responding to the KidLit call for Why I Vote, I wanted to find the truth in moving statements about women fighting for voting rights or men dying for the privilege to cast ballots. While I certainly don't discount either, that's not why I vote.

I vote because it's just what you do. You park in the lines at the supermarket, you shovel your sidewalk in the winter, and you take turns merging on the highway. These are the hallmarks of a modern society. And if people ignore all of them, well then, our country also allows for your right to be a dick. But I choose not that course.

Today I vote with hope for our future and also hope for an iced brownie at the bake sale, because the best of humanity combines the sublime and the mundane. As for which defines voting and which the brownie... well, I'll leave that open-ended.


Check out other thought at Chasing Ray's round-up of Why I Vote. And VOTE!

Choosing a President: Babymouse or Bad Kitty

Here on the verge of selecting between "Bronco Bama" and Mitt Romney, it seems appropriate in the KidLit world to note other contests are taking place with more two-dimensional characters. (Yes, even more two-dimensional than Romney. BAM!)

Babymouse for President
by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Random House 2012, reviewed from library copy

Babymouse for PresidentFueled by her elaborate fantasies, Babymouse decides to run for student council president. She is up against some tough competitors, including her nemesis Felicia Furrypaws and her own locker. As she gets caught up in the campaign and winning, she forgets her purpose. (Like no presidential candidate does that.) But in the end, she comes back to the truth even if she doesn't win. (Come on, it's Babymouse.) Another fun addition to the series with some greater truths, clever asides, and humorous illustrations. Some jokes may only be picked up by adults, like the series of posters similar to candidates of the past. Love the Obama-inspired poster, Typical.

Bad Kitty for President
by Nick Bruel

Square Fish 2012, reviewed from library copy

Bad Kitty for PresidentWith the former president of the Neighborhood Cat Club stepping down, Bad Kitty has an opportunity to take charge. But it's no simple process, starting with primaries of the left and right sides of the street and ending with the election decided by an absentee ballot. A nicely humorous story that hits on a lot of election aspects like endorsements, caucuses, delegates and negative ads often explained in inserts and in a glossary. It's a lot of information, but the funny side of the character and cartoons shines through. Some important lessons like not blowing the debate or not being someone else in ads feel very current somehow.





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