August 7, 2012

Book Review: Woodrow for President

I was asked to be a part of another blog book tour advertising/reviewing the book Woodrow for President by Peter and Cheryl Barnes.  

The book follows the life of Woodrow G. Washingtail, a civic-minded mouse who eventually becomes the president of the entire mouse nation.  This book does two things: 1) it discusses what qualities are required in a public servant, and 2) it outlines the election process.

I really liked that Woodrow was depicted as a mouse who takes care of his family and serves in the community.  He never ridiculed his opponent and each mouse who ran was treated respectfully.  That might sound silly but no one party was presented as the "best" and no one candidate treated as "superior."  I like that sort of even-handedness.

The reason this book is valuable though, is that it goes through the election process.  Now, you all know me and know that I would prefer a straight-forward non-fiction with photos about something like this, but I have to admit that my kids really liked this book.  They loved the pictures and they liked the rhyming text (the part I disliked most--I don't enjoy non-fiction in verse form), and they loved that the characters were mice.  I was clearly outvoted.  My 7 year old son declared the book, "Great."  

Back to the point though.  You are walked through the election process with Woodrow, from local elections to primary elections, to debates, putting together a campaign, getting volunteers, national conventions, election day, the inaugural address, and even the inaugural ball (my favorite page--I like to see what all the mouse ladies wore to the ball).  Then at the end of the book there is a small blurb about each of the main ideas, for example: primaries and caucuses, political parties, political conventions, etc.  

You could easily make this book the core book for a small (or large) unit on government or elections.  Since this is an election year, that might not be a bad idea.  

At the end of the book there is a "Contract to Vote."  I'm sort-of crazy about voting and take my children to every election and make them wait in line with me and then wear an "I voted" sticker for the rest of the day.  I took the opportunity to go over the importance of voting with my kids, yet again, because of the voting contract in the back of the book.

Although there were things I didn't like about this book, my children all thoroughly enjoyed it and loved the pictures.  It is a very kid-friendly way to introduce the political process to youngsters.  Good job, Woodrow Washingtail!

 {Disclaimer: I received this book for my family for free.  I received no other compensation for this review and all opinions are my own.}

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