Well, here we are at an historical election and no doubt our children are watching and listening. Again, picture books serves as a gateway for those important conversations. With so many picture books on the topic of voting and politics, it’s hard to pick the best ones. But here are a variety from informative, conceptual, and just plain funny. Also, there are two downloadables: a fun voting ballot and a graph to chart your results. Your vote counts!
V is For Voting
by Kate Farrell, Caitlin Kuhwald
V Is for Voting is an ABC book that introduces progressive families to concepts like social justice and civil rights and reminds readers that every vote counts!
A is for active participation.
B is for building a more equal nation.
C is for citizens’ rights and our duty.
D is for difference, our strength and our beauty.
An engaging introduction to the tenants of democracy, V Is for Voting is a playful, poetic, and powerful primer about the importance of voting and activism. Featuring Kate Farrell’s rhyming text and Caitlin Kuhwald’s bold art, plus thoughtful back matter, the book is a gorgeous, and crucial, addition to every young reader’s library.
The President of the Jungle
by André Rodrigues, Larissa Ribeiro, Paula Desgualdo, Pedro Markun
In this fabulous and funny introduction to how elections work, the animals decide they are tired of their king and that it is time to vote for a president.
Lion may be King of the jungle, but lately he only seems to care about himself. His subjects are fed up, so they decide to try something new–hold an election! Once Owl explains the rules, the fun begins, and Snake, Sloth, and Monkey all announce they will be candidates. But oh no, Lion is going to run too! It’s a wild campaign season as the animals hold rallies, debate, and even take a selfie or two, trying to prove why they’d make the best president of the jungle.
This funny, non-partisan story features lively illustrations, a helpful glossary, and colorful characters who have an infectious enthusiasm for the election process.
Lillian’s Right to Vote
by Jonah Winter, Shane W. Evans
An elderly African American woman, en route to vote, remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history in this picture book publishing in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky — she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery.
Veteran bestselling picture-book author Jonah Winter and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Shane W. Evans vividly recall America’s battle for civil rights in this lyrical, poignant account of one woman’s fierce determination to make it up the hill and make her voice heard.
Literary Awards: Jane Addams Children’s Book Award for Younger Children Honor (2016), Kirkus Prize Nominee for Young Readers’ Literature (Finalist) (2015)
Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote
by Kirsten Gillibrand, Maira Kalman
The perfect read for the one-hundredth anniversary of the nineteenth amendment and in advance of the upcoming presidential election, this inspiring picture book from United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand shares the stories of ten suffragists who fought for women’s right to vote.
Bold & Brave introduces children to strong women who have raised their voices on behalf of justice–and inspires them to raise their own voices to build our future.
Here are the stories of ten leaders who strove to win the right to vote for American women–a journey that took more than seventy years of passionate commitment. From well-known figures, such as Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth to lesser known women such as Alice Paul and Mary Church Terrell, these are heroes who dreamed big and never gave up. Senator Gillibrand highlights an important and pithy lesson from each woman’s life–from dare to be different to fight together.
With gorgeous illustrations by renowned artist Maira Kalman, this is a book that will inspire and uplift, a book to be cherished and shared.
The suffragists included are: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Jovita Idár Alice Paul, Inez Milholland, Ida B. Wells, Lucy Burns, and Mary Church Terrell.
Duck for President
by Doreen Cronin, Betsy Lewis
My fellow Americans:
It is our pleasure, our honor, our duty as citizens to present to you Duck for President. Here is a duck who began in a humble pond. Who worked his way to farmer. To governor. And now, perhaps, to the highest office in the land.
Some say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he is a duck.
We say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he will be the next president of the United States of America.
Thank you for your vote.
Literary Awards: Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Children’s Illustrated (2005)
Grace for President
by Kelly DiPucchio, LeUyen Pham
A fresh, fun, and “thought-provoking” New York Times bestseller about the American electoral college and why every vote counts from bestselling and award-winning duo Kelly DiPucchio and LeUyen Pham.
“Where are the girls?”
When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides she wants to be the nation’s first and immediately jumpstarts her political career by running in her school’s mock election! The race is tougher than she expected: her popular opponent declares that he’s the “best man for the job” and seems to have captured the votes of all of the class’s boys. But Grace is more determined than ever. Even if she can’t be the best man for the job, she can certainly try to be the best person!
This timely story not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system but also teaches the value of hard work, courage, independent thought — and offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.
To engage in a voting election and graphing your results, here is a fun Download for your kids and/or students. Enjoy!
- Some talking points:
- 1, The Electoral System. How does it work? (Grace for President)
- 2. The vote for women. How was it obtained? When did it begin? (Lillian’s Right to Vote)
- 3. How to project “your opinions” with a sufficient argument, – example:
- The Orange – The Argument: Why or why not is it the best fruit.
- For: 1) It’s good for you. 2) It’s refreshing and tasty. 3) It adds flavor to cooking.
- Against: 1) It’s messy. 2) It’s hard to peel. 3) It takes up too much space in your lunch box/bag.
- 4. What happens after your choice wins? Doesn’t win?