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Best Election Day Books for Children

A Roundup of Election Voting-Themed Books for Kids

 

presidential-pets-cvrPresidential Pets: The Weird, Wacky, Little, Big, Scary,
Strange Animals That Have Lived in the White House 
Written by Julia Moberg

Illustrated by Jeff Albrecht Studios
(Charlesbridge Publishing; $14.95, Ages 3-7)

A not-to-be-missed book for Election Day 2016 and beyond, Presidential Pets is ideal for schools and homes alike. From Abraham Lincoln to Zachary Taylor, these American presidents all have one thing in common, a plethora of noteworthy pets. With intros in rhyme, this 95-page non-fiction picture book is filled with funny facts about presidents, their families, their pets as well as their career accomplishments. Did you know that Andrew Jackson had a cussing pet parrot who had to be removed from his funeral for her foul language? Or that Herbert Hoover’s son Allan Henry had alligators “that roamed through the grounds” of the White House? Or lastly, that Grover Cleveland, the “only president to serve two terms that weren’t back-to-back,” had a virtual menagerie of animals during his presidency including Foxhounds, Dachshunds and chickens?
Moberg has done her homework brilliantly choosing an engaging and entertaining subject that brings to light all the humorous details kids and parents will love about the variety of animals and owners who once called the White House home. The cartoon-style artwork from Jeff Albrecht Studios is a whimsical addition to each presidential pet profile and is sure to bring a smile to many faces this election season.

around-america-to-win-the-voteAround America to Win The Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles
Written by Mara Rockliff
Illustrated by Hadley Hooper
(Candlewick Press; $16.99, Ages 5-8)

One hundred years ago, “On April 6, 1916, a little yellow car set out from New York City.” The car’s occupants were Nell Richardson, Alice Burke, and a little black kitten. These courageous ladies were on a mission. Together they would drive around the USA to campaign for women’s right to vote. Throughout their journey, they encountered people from all walks of life, and situations that might have derailed other less dedicated individuals. Whether facing blizzards or getting stuck in the mud held them up, these were just temporary setbacks. Nothing would curtail Richardson and Burke from cruising across the country for this important cause. Nope. Not blocked roads or getting lost for days. Onwards they drove, getting invited to fancy dinners and local schools. They joined a circus parade and attended a tea party, all the while spreading their message, “Votes for Women.” Finally, after ten thousand miles, Richardson needed a rest, but Alice felt motivated to cover more ground. This time, however, she chose to travel by train!

In the interesting back matter, Mara Rockliff shares four pages of useful information that even parents will find enlightening. She explains about the car Richardson and Burke used for their Votes for Women adventure, and how uncommon it was to travel by auto in 1916. Readers learn how, as far back as 1776, First Lady Abigail Adams urged her husband John “to remember the ladies.” We know what came of that request. Also included  are sources and recommended reading on this timely topic. Rockliff has done a fabulous job of making the suffrage movement accessible to hong readers with her upbeat approach and language. The story of Richardson and Burke was one I’d never heard about so I’m glad I had a chance to step back in time with these two inspirational women. Hooper’s illustrations complemented the text and theme, allowing us to feel the exuberance of the journey along with the book’s history-making heroines.

Isabella: Girl in Chargeisabella-girl-in-charge
Written by Jennifer Fosberry
Illustrated by Mike Litwin
(Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky; $16.99, Ages 4 and up)

Isabella’s back, this time visiting Washington, D.C. with her parents. But why, you may ask? She’s channeling and celebrating five trailblazing women in the U.S. government culminating with her attending the first female president’s inauguration, and she simply cannot wait. Fosberry builds up to this momentous event by highlighting women throughout our political history who were firsts in their field and who opened doors for themselves and future generations that, up until that time, had been closed to them.

You’ll meet Susanna Madora Salter, the first female mayor, in Argonia, Kansas. Incidentally, I had no idea that Kansas had given women the right to vote back in 1887, although Wyoming allowed women to vote as early as 1869. Isabella also introduces readers to Jeannette Rankin, a truly independent and colorful character who, in 1916, beat seven men to get elected as the first woman in Congress. In 1925, Nellie Tayloe Ross broke the glass ceiling by being elected the first female governor of Wyoming following the death of her governor husband, William, while still in office. She also was named first female Director of the Federal Mint by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Another woman to whom we owe a great debt is Frances Perkins. She, too, served under FDR, and had numerous appointments, in her lifetime, the most famous being “the first woman to serve on the Cabinet and be in line of succession to the presidency! Last, but not least is Sandra Day O’Connor who in 1981 was the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court only after another first as the State Majority Leader in the Arizona State Senate. How’s that for accomplished women? Fosberry’s chosen to highlight these women with their varied backgrounds and experience to serve as role models for young girls everywhere who aspire to reach their true potential.

There’s lots of fun wordplay (“Let’s vote on breakfast.” “Capital idea!”) and cheerful artwork throughout this delightful, empowering picture book, ending with a time line and bios for each of these amazing women. Isabella: Girl in Charge will also be available on Put Me in The Story, the #1 personalized book platform in America.

  • Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

Additional Highly Recommended Reads:

Buddy For President
Written and illustrated by Hans Wilhelm
(HarperCollins; $17.99, Ages 4-8)


buddy-for-president

 

 

 

 


Pedro For President

Written by Fran Manushkin
Illustrated by Tammie Lyon
(Picture Window Books; $5.95, Ages 5-8)

pedro-for-president

 

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Dorothy, Goldilocks, Black Beauty, Oh My!

Have Library Card Will Travel

My name is not Isabella, but there sure is a lot of Isabella in me.  Read Isabella: Star of the Story (Sourcebooks, $16.99, ages 4-8) by Jennifer Fosberry with illustrations by Mike Litwin to your children and watch how a trip to the library can turn into a magical experience.  In fact the book is dedicated to librarians whose vital role in introducing children to books cannot be stressed enough.

9781402279362
Isabella is a young girl with a keen sense of adventure and an imagination as wide as the continents and oceans combined. Like me, Isabella loves to visit new places and in this, the third book in a richly rewarding series, she ventures inside the pages of some literary classics.

Isabella’s charming banter with her parents is part of the appeal of the story and New York Times Bestselling Author Fosberry wastes no time diving – or in this case, flying – right in! While she won’t answer to Isabella, she will answer to Peter Pan. “I am Peter Pan, and I am flying two stars to the right and straight on to the children’s room.”  Parents, remember to point out the different outfits that Isabella’s trusty plush mouse is wearing with each new book she reads. Illustrator Litwin has also drawn some delightful clues foreshadowing the next story to come. For example there’s a bowl of steamy porridge on top of a book on the page before Isabella transforms into Goldilocks. That’s when she searches for a book that’s “not too short and not too long.” There’s word play for older readers both in the text and in Litwin’s clever and colorful artwork. In addition to Peter Pan and Goldilocks from The Three Bears, Isabella enters the world of Captain Nemo from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Black Beauty, Alice in Wonderland and The Wonderful World of Oz.

The back matter at the end of the book shares interesting details about the evolution of each classic including a DID YOU KNOW factoid parents may even find more interesting than their kids! Considering we all have grown up with these “Stories for all time …” Fosberry has found a wonderful way to engage a whole new audience while making our trip down the rabbit hole all the more meaningful.

Read my review of Isabella: Girl on The Go (book 2) by clicking here.

-Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

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Just How Far Can a Little Girl Dream?

Ronna Mandel reviews Isabella, Girl On The Go

Let’s take a trip around the world and, best of all, no passports or visas are required. Join Isabella, a spunky young girl now starring in the second book of her series; Isabella: Girl On The Go ($16.99,  Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, ages  4 and up) by Jennifer Fosberry with pictures by Mike Litwin.

Kids first met Isabella in My Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream?, a New York Times‘ bestseller and now Fosberry’s decided to travel the globe letting Isabella’s imagination soar across oceans and continents.  We don’t need a boat or a plane, just an imagination like Isabella’s.  Her playful spirit kicks into overdrive as she keeps her dad company in the backyard. Her sandbox and surroundings are soon the Sphinx in Egypt where she’s an archaeologist searching for “the tombs of a king.”  She leaves behind pyramids for Paris to paint a picture of the Eiffel Tower and continues her journey to take in an empire (in China) and “the longest, strongest wall.”  Take Fosberry’s super story and mix in the wonderfully whimsical artwork from Litwin and you’ve got your ticket to ride.

What I like most about Isabella is her ability to turn a garden into a glorious city like Paris or anywhere else in the world for that matter!  All it takes is a dream, a supportive parent, the comforts of home and lots, and lots of love.

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