I know the storm is on everyone's mind – as well it should be. We're all concerned for the people affected by Sandy. That said, we're one week away from electing the president of the United States. So I'm going to review one more picture book on the presidential election.
By Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrated bu LeUyen Pham
For Ages 5 – 8
Why can't a girl be president? Grace sets out to prove that they can as she runs for class president and learns all about campaigning. Rated 3.5 (politics, election, elementary school)
When Grace’s teacher unrolls a large poster of the American presidents, Grace is shocked to learn that there are no girls on it. After sitting and thinking at her desk, Grace finally makes the announcement that she will be president one day. This spurs her teacher to organize an election. Each student in her class represents a state and can cast the allotted number of electoral votes for that state. Grace’s opponent turns out to be a very smart and popular boy who has shrewdly studied the electoral map and knows that boys hold a higher vote total. Then the campaign begins and Grace pulls out all the stops. She gives stump speeches, hands out cupcakes and even begins fulfilling campaign promises before the election. Does it all pay off? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Since this book is about politics you might wonder about agendas or bias. I’m sure you can find some if you look. Maybe it’s the name of the elementary school – Woodrow Wilson Elementary, the fact that it’s a popular white boy running against an African American girl, or possibly that the book only discusses the electoral college and not the popular vote. It’s sad that we adults think in those terms. We end up missing the real take away from the story. If you believe in yourself, don’t take anything for granted, don’t expect anything to be given to you, and work hard for what you want, you can accomplish anything in the United States of America.