If the apocalyptic cable news coverage and the uptick in hate emojis on Facebook didn’t tip you off, it’s a presidential election year! You’re doing your best to teach your kids about doing their civic duty and upholding America as a shining example of democracy. But face it, they’re not going to learn any lessons in civility by paying attention to CNN. Go ahead and turn their chair away from the TV and crack open Let’s Vote: A Fruitful Election Tale by Anita Iaco.
Iaco aims to simplify the electoral process using the story of a teacher, Miss Jenn, who is trying to get her class to vote for their favorite fruit. An apple, orange, and banana each gets a spokes-kid to pump up its merits — but just like a real election, these elementary school campaign managers start to make promises they can’t keep, throw other food under the bus, and bully their friends into voting for theirs. (The orange even shamefully suggested that apple was a secret vegetable who wouldn’t release its birth records.)
Smartly, the book avoids any political bias by using fruit instead of, say, bringing donkeys and elephants to school. At best it will introduce the idea of what a fair election looks like. At worst it will highlight what a shit show this current one has been. Miss Jenn ends with telling her students that to win an election you have “to make promises you can keep, to tell the truth, and to be nice.” Thankfully most kids won’t learn what irony means until middle school.
Ages: 5 – 11
Let’s Vote: A Fruitful Election Tale by Anita Iaco and Chiara Civati