Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blog Tour: Woodrow for President by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes

WOODROW FOR PRESIDENT: A TAIL OF VOTING, CAMPAIGNS, AND ELECTIONS
by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes
Little Patriot Press, 2012
ISBN:978-1-59698-786-9
Grades 3-6
Reviewed from copy provided for blog tour.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.


Election year is upon us and what better way to teach children about campaigning, voting, and the election process than through Cheryl and Peter Barnes’ critically-acclaimed book Woodrow for President!

Featuring Woodrow G. Washingtail, a civic-minded mouse with presidential ambitions, Woodrow for President follows Woodrow as he runs for president of the United Mice of America.

Taking children on a journey from Woodrow’s schoolmouse days full of hard work and community service to his time as governor of Moussouri to his bid for president of the United Mice of America, Woodrow for President introduces children to campaigning, elections, volunteering, and more through this fun—and educational—story of one mouse’s dream to become the nation’s "Big Cheese.”

Featuring a contract for voting between parents and kids as well as fun activities such as "find the secret service agent” in every illustration, Woodrow for President is perfect for any child in K-4 who might one day aspire to be the "Commander in Cheese.”

Explaining the electoral process to young children can be a difficult thing to do. This book does a nice job of helping readers understand what running for president requires. The descriptions are of course simplified and idealized. If only elections were this neat and tidy. But all the major steps are included: political parties, conventions, campaigns, debates, voting, etc. I enjoyed the use of a mouse society to present the facts mixed with a story, this makes all the information easier to swallow. I also enjoyed the play on words, such as 'Moussouri' rather than Missouri. While the rhymes were occasionally forced, the content is just right for upper elementary students.

The illustrations are pleasant and quite detailed. The addition of the secret service agent to search for in the illustrations is fun. Unfortunately, while the detailed illustrations do a fantastic job complimenting the text, it makes the book hard to use as a classroom read-a-loud, unless the teacher has a document camera or can enlarge the pictures in some way. If that is the case there are many different things that could be discussed in terms of humor as well as the election information. 

I appreciated the emphasis on 'public service' rather than the greed and power that sometimes seems to motivate candidates and his/her political party, not to mention the money that has come to play such a large role in the process. While this is idealistic, I believe it is an ideal well worth seeking. I recommend this book for parents and teachers who wish to help their young students to understand the importance of voting and participating in a democracy. The additional information at the back of the book about the major points included in the book is helpful in further explaining the text.

3 comments:

  1. I agree that it's so important to get kids involved in the political process early. And you're the right--the focus on service to the community is the *right* focus. A great book for an election year!

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  2. This sounds like an excellent book to help let kids know about the election process. Looks cute and informative! Great review- thanks for sharing.
    ~Jess

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  3. An ideal well worth seeking for sure! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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