From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-Using a campaign for mayor as an example, Christelow offers some background history on voting rights; explains the voting process; and answers questions about registration, volunteering, fund-raising, and recounting ballots. Colorful, comical illustrations in pen and ink and acrylic gouache and narration by one candidate's dogs, Elmer and Sparky, create a light yet informative tone. Appendixes offer a time line, a discussion of political parties, and Internet resources. Christelow's book will complement the few books available on the topic, including Betsy Maestro's The Voice of the People (Lothrop, 1996) and Patricia Murphy's Voting and Elections (Compass Point, 2001) as these titles focus on voting and elections as related to the three branches of government. This accessible and appealing title deserves a place in all collections.
Doris Losey, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, Tampa, FL
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*Starred Review* Gr. 2-5. It's hard to imagine a more accessible introduction to voting. The words are straightforward, the art whimsical and creative, and two darling dogs provide color commentary on the action. The frame story is a mayoral election in which the mother of a young, African American named Angela Johnson is one of the candidates. The book follows the action from political rallies, fund-raisers, and debates through the election, ending with a successful recount. Along the way, all the pertinent questions are asked and answered: What is voting? Why doesn't everyone vote? Who decided who can vote? The latter question could have taken a book of its own to answer, but Angela explains in a few short pages, with the help of flashback art featuring colonialists, suffragettes, and minorities, how universal suffrage came about. The art, which mixes a deceptively simple comic-book style and more traditional full-page pictures, crackles with excitement, and the humorous asides by the doggie commentators not only help explain the action but also add extra bits of information. A glossary, a time line, and a resource list are appended. Vote aye on this one, and use it in the run up to next year's election. Ilene Cooper
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