What Can a Citizen Do? By Dave Eggers, illustrated by Shawn Harris

Published by Chronicle Books

Image result for what can a citizen do eggers amazon

Image result for what can a citizen do eggers amazon

Summary:  The team that brought us Her Right Foot takes a look at the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.  The rhyming text is simple, emphasizing the importance of helping others and working to make a better society.  Suggestions include helping a neighbor, joining a cause, writing a letter, and the generic “righting a wrong”. There may be a sly political message in the “No Trumpets” sign in a couple of the illustrations.  The conclusion? “So forget yourself a second/Grab a shovel or a pen/Do something for another./Don’t you dare doubt that you can!/Everything makes an impact/on a bigger big than you./And it all starts with the question:/What can a citizen do?”  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  A basic introduction to civics for preschool and primary students.  The illustrations are the star of the show here, with a diverse cast of kid characters portrayed in collage illustrations that seem to pop out of the page.  

Cons:  If ever a book cried out for back matter, this is it.  What is a citizen? What are some specific actions citizens can take?  Definitely some missed opportunities here, particularly after the thought-provoking Her Right Foot.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.


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