Election Day Celebration

Since Election Day was last week, I started thinking about “theme” books geared for certain holidays. So I decided to take a look at several picture books about Election Day and compare how various author handled the topic and what each did to make their book special.

First, I took a look at Today is Election Day by Catherine Stier, illustrated by David Leonard. The book’s format is interesting because several students introduce the topic of Election Day the first few spreads (using the pronoun “we.”) As the story continues, various students explain their individual observations about Election Day by sharing experiences of older relatives who can vote such as a brother, grandpa, and aunt. So instead of using a story narrative with a rising plot line, the author includes many students’ experiences which allows the book to share a wide range of information (types of offices people are elected to, how people vote, and important historical voting events.) The broad scope of this title makes it a great choice for teachers and students who want to learn more about elections.

election day

Next up, Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. I loved this book right off the bat because the first spread is clever and engaging. In the first illustration students are gathered around a poster with all of the past presidents’ pictures. Then one little girl, Grace, steps forward and exclaims, “Where are the girls?” This simple, honest question makes a great springboard for the story that follows — Grace attempts to be elected the first girl president in the school’s upcoming mock election. This book demonstrates the power of a unique, clever device at the beginning of a story.

grace

My Teacher for President, illustrated by Denise Brunkus and written by Kay Winters, is absolutely brilliant! The entire text is a handwritten letter from one boy to a local new channel in which he explains why his teacher should be president. This title is terrific book for early readers because the boy’s letter shares the basic qualities that would make a great president and the word count is low. The letter format also provides some charming humor!


my teacher

I enjoyed comparing these three titles side by side and seeing the unique ways different authors tackled the topic of Election Day for different age audiences. Just goes to show, there’s always room for another book on a popular topic as long as the author comes up with an approach that hasn’t been done before!

[Sidenote: Interestingly, sometimes readers think a picture book addresses a certain theme/holiday when the author didn’t write the book with that topic in mind. For example, I met author Keiko Kasza years ago and she shared she was surprised when her book A Mother for Choco became a popular “adoption” book. That wasn’t her intent (although she was happy it was a helpful adoption title.) And speaking of Election Day, I was surprised to discover that my book, The House That George Built (which shares the construction details, materials, and people involved in building the White House) is often used as an Election Day title in schools. Who would have guessed?]

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Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade is the author of more than 100 books. A mechanical engineer by degree, she enjoys writing about science topics and fascinating, little-known facts about historical figures. Recent picture books include: The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue (4 Starred Reviews!), Friends for Freedom, With Books and Bricks, The Inventor’s Secret (2017 NSTA Best STEM Book, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt), and Out of School and Into Nature (Sleeping Bear, 2017). Coming soon -- Dangerous Jane (Peachtree, 2017), 2979 Days (Peachtree, 2018), Astronaut Annie (Tilbury House, 2018), and The Daring Dozen (Charlesbridge, 2019). Learn more about Suzanne and her books at: www.suzanneslade.com

9 Comments:

  1. “Just goes to show, there’s always room for another book on a popular topic as long as the author comes up with an approach that hasn’t been done before!”

    So true! Thanks for sharing this comparison, Suzanne.

  2. Brilliant ideas and brilliant authors!! I want to get some of these books to share with my grandchildren for 2016’s elections….thank you!

  3. Nice way of showing three different approaches to the same topic. I love the way you showed the different strengths of each book and the way each book might be useful to a specific kind of audience or reading situation.

  4. Thanks for sharing these!

    Another fun example is Ben Clanton’s VOTE FOR ME!

  5. Thanks for sharing these titles! Another new one is Monster Needs Your Vote by Paul Czajak. Awesome political vocabulary will spark new discussions. And it’s in rhyme! (Done extremely well.)

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