Published by Schwartz & Wade
Published by Beach Lane Books
Summaries: Every two years, Stanton Elementary School closes down on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Turns out it’s a polling place on Election Day, and the kids in Vote for Our Future! want to be a part of it. They visit friends, family, and neighbors to encourage them to vote, meeting each one of their lame excuses with a solution to get them registered and to the polls. A gatefold page shows long lines on Election Day, and excitement builds as votes are counted and recounted. Kids are back at school the next day, “and the future begins to change”. Includes a list of Acts of Congress that have made the future better for Americans. 40 pages; ages 4-8.
The rhyming text of Equality’s Call tells the story of how voting rights have changed over the last 200 years. At first, “white men with property went to the polls, but the rest of the people were left off the rolls”. Over time, things slowly changed, allowing women, people of color, and the non-wealthy to vote. Every few pages, a double-page spread shows a growing parade of voters with the refrain, “We heard ever louder/Equality’s call/A right isn’t a right/Till it’s granted to all.” The last few pages remind readers that we owe a debt of gratitude to those who fought for voters’ rights and that “democracy’s dream must be constantly tended”. Includes two pages of voting-related amendments and legislation with a description of each one and two pages with thumbnail profiles of voting rights activists. 48 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: A double dose of democracy with two excellent picture books that show the importance of voting and put it in historical context.
Cons: Not voting on Election Day! If you’re in a Super Tuesday state and know someone who isn’t voting today, I encourage you to call or visit that person and read one of these books to them in an aggrieved, disappointed voice. Say it kids: