At Lifetime Moms, I posted 6 Ways to Talk About the Election with Kids. Picture Books are a great way to introduce complex topics like elections. Here are 9 children’s books that examine our democracy in action:
Vote!, by Eileen Christelow: My kids really like this book that follows one woman’s local election from the perspective of her two dogs. They enjoy the real-life applications of the principles of democracy and the running canine commentary. This book has plenty of detail about the campaign and election process.
If I Ran For President, by Catherine Stier: In this book, a cute, multicultural, group of classmates imagines what it would be like to run for president. Although this book is very much from a child’s perspective, it does provide a good overview of the campaigning and election process. Stier even includes information about the electoral college at a young kid-level.
Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio: When Grace learns that no woman has ever been the U.S. president, she declares she will be the first. Her teacher responds by organizing a mock presidential election with another class. If gender politics prevail, however, Grace will lose due to the boys holding more electoral votes. In the end, a boy crosses the aisle because he believes Grace is the best person for the job. The illustrations and typography are eye-catching and add to the engaging narrative.
My Teacher for President, by Kay Winters: Inspired by news of the upcoming election, a young boy explains why his teacher would be well-suited to the job of President. Although this is more of a humorous look at how a teacher’s busy day qualifies her for the office of the presidency, it is a good springboard for a conversation about who kids think would make a good president.
Max for President, by Jarrett J. Krosoczkae: This book takes the presidential election down to the elementary school level, with two candidates competing for class president. Both make campaign promises relevant to their classmate constituents. Although the titular character does not win, his opponent asks him to become her vice-president. Together they work together to make their school a better place. Although the bipartisan spirit of the book may not reflect our current politics, it is a familiar introduction to elections for younger children.
Woodrow for President: A Tail of Voting, Campaigns, and Elections, by Peter W. Barnes: This book takes the long view of the making of a president. Rhyming verse follows Woodrow G. Washingtail from childhood through his first campaigns and offices, all the way through his campaign for president. Children will miss a lot of the allusions and the book does get a little lengthier for the younger range of picture book readers. However, this is an interesting, thorough look at the topic of elections.
These three books also look interesting but we haven’t checked them out, yet, due to Hurricane Sandy delays:
The Kid Who Ran for President, by Dan Gutman
America Votes: How Our President Is Elected, by Linda Granfiedl
Today on Election Day, by Catherine Stier