All the partisan bickering, name-calling and attack ads got you (and your kids) down? Now might be a good time to head for your local public library.; Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / JasonUnbound
Sorting through presidential politics is confusing enough for adults, so imagine what kids are making of it this election year.
Now might be a good time to step away from all the partisan bickering, the name-calling, the attack ads, and head with your kids to the quiet comfort of your local public library.
That’s where you’ll find plenty of great books about elections.
Mara Alpert, children’s librarian for L.A.’s Central Public Library offers her top picks:
“Vote for Me!” by Ben Clanton
Donkey and Elephant are after your vote and they’ll try anything— begging, pleading, bribery, name-calling, even some literal mud-slinging. In the end, unlike the actual presidential candidates, they apologize to one another and agree to stay friends. Who walks away with the win? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
“Duck for President” by Doreen Cronin; illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Keeping a farm running is really hard work and Duck is really sick of doing his chores, which are messy. So he decides that he’s going to run for farmer and change things. He wins by a landslide (even after they find a missing vote stuck to the bottom of Pig), but being in charge of the farm, it turns out, is even harder than he thought, so Duck decides to run for governor next. When it turns out that being Governor is more difficult than he realized, Duck sets his sights on the White House.
“President Squid” by Aaron Reynolds; illustrated by Sara Varon
When Squid discovers that no Giant Squid has ever been president, he comes up with five important reasons why he will be the greatest president who ever lived. Among those reasons are the fact that presidents are famous (and so is Squid), they get to do all the talking (another thing Squid is very good at), and the president is the big boss (and there’s nobody bigger or bossier than Squid).
“Grace for President” by Kelly DiPucchio; illustrated by LeUyen Pham
When she’s studying U.S. Presidents, Grace finds out that none of them have been women, and she wants to change that. She runs for class president and is up against the popular boy in her class, which she’s a little worried about. The other students are randomly assigned states, giving everyone a lesson on the electoral college (even parents, with a helpful author’s note at the end).
“Max for President” by Jarrett Krosoczka
It’s time to elect a new class president and both Max and Kelly are running for the position. They make posters and pins and promises, but they don’t say mean things to each other, they don’t even frown at each other! When Kelly ends up winning, she picks Max as her Vice President and they both work together to improve things for their class. This book makes a great introduction to elections for pre-schoolers.
“Bad Kitty for President” by Nick Bruel
This fun chapter book features Kitty and her run to head up the Neighborhood Cat Coalition. It’s a really funny look at the election process and all of its madness that older kids will enjoy and actually learn from too.
“Vote!” by Eileen Christelow
This picture book/comic book hybrid explains the election process through a race for mayor. One of the candidates daughters (and her two dogs) explain all the ins and outs, including voting, voter registration, debates, polling and volunteering.
“Presidential Misadventures: Poems That Poke Fun at the Man in Charge” by Bob Raczka; illustrated by Dan E. Burr
This book is a hilarious collection of “clarihew” poems. They’re four-line poems that poke fun at a famous person. Forty-two U.S. Presidents all get the clarihew treatment, putting a hilarious spin on U.S. history.