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Your Vote Counts!

Suggested reading for young politicians and pundits.
Duck for President Duck for President
Ages: All Ages
Author: Doreen Cronin   Illustrator: Betsy Lewin  
Simon & Schuster/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $15.95 (Hard Cover)   

This is an election year must for preschoolers and early elementary students. The silliness of Duck’s campaign signs “Vote Duck for a kinder gentler farm” and “I’m a duck not a politician” is enough to recommend this title, but Betsy Lewin’s Duck in shadow in the Oval Office is priceless.

George Washington's Teeth
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Madeleine Comora   Author: Deborah Chandra   Illustrator: Brock Cole  
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16.00 (Hard Cover)   

In jaunty verse, authors Chandra and Comora chronicle Washington’s crossing of the Delaware with nine teeth in his mouth, only to arrive at the other side of the river with just seven. All ends well when a now toothless George helps his faithful dentist construct a set of false teeth carved from a “strong hippo tusk.”

LaRue For Mayor: Letters from the Campaign Trail
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Mark Teague   Illustrator: Mark Teague  
Scholastic, $16.99 (Hard Cover)   

In this adventure LaRue, a playful dog with knack for finding trouble, is motivated by an anti-dog mayoral candidate to run for the office himself. The story is told in a non-traditional fashion, as a series of newspaper clips, press releases, and memos, all accompanied by illustrations depicting the truth behind the campaign slogans. As in real- life elections, things do get ugly between the candidates. But in the end, LaRue and his opponent conduct themselves with a lot more grace than many flesh-and-blood politicians. Overall, a good book for adults to share with children who show interest in current events.

The Day Gogo Went to Vote
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Elinor Batezat Sisulu   Illustrator: Sharon Wilson  
Little, Brown and Company/Megan Tingley Books, $5.95 (Paperback)

Thembi accompanies her hundred-year-old great-grandmother to the polling place in the first election in which black South Africans are allowed to vote. Infirm and housebound, Gogo is determined to vote and does so with a little help from her community. Excellent pastel pictures capture the happy occasion.

When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots
Ages: 4 - 15 yrs.
Author: Lynne Cheney   Illustrator: Peter Fiore  
Simon & Schuster/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $16.95 (Hard Cover)   

Best-selling author Lynne Cheney tells the dramatic story of the military campaign that began on Christmas night in 1776. When Washington Crossed the Delaware will teach the young about the heroism, persistence, and patriotism of those who came before them.

George Washington's Cows
Ages: 5 - 7 yrs.
By: David Small  
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $6.95 (Paperback)

Coddled cows upstairs, pigs running the household, and lecturing sheep-- is it any wonder that George Washington fled home to brave the frosty Delaware? Told in rollicking verse and virtuoso watercolors, Small's book is a model of economy of line and narrative moving so fast you don't have time to wonder or stop chuckling.

You're on Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt
Ages: 5 - 12 yrs.
Author: Judith St. George   Illustrator: Matt Faulkner  
Penguin Putnam Inc./ Philomel, $16.99 (Hard Cover)   

Before Teddy Roosevelt became famous as a statesman, naturalist, colonel in the Spanish-American War, and twenty-sixth president of the United States, he was a young boy called Teedie who had wonderful adventures with his brother and sister and even started a museum in his attic. But he also struggled with terrible asthma. Overcoming his illness was the major battle of his young life . . . and his determination to make himself strong and healthy set the course for his amazing accomplishments to come.

What Presidents Are Made Of What Presidents Are Made Of
Ages: 6 - 10 yrs.
Author: Hanoch Piven   Illustrator: Hanoch Piven  
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing/Anne Schwartz Books/Atheneum, $15.95 (Hard Cover)   

What Presidents are Made Of is an entertaining picture book formatted exploration of some little known facts about fourteen Presidents of the United States. The depiction of each president is made up of a collage of objects that, in some way, reflects the story or the personality of the President.

Eyewitness Vote
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Phillip Steele  
DK Publishing, $15.99 (Hard Cover)   

This book gives a comprehensive overview of the voting process in government-how it has changed through history, and how it differs in republics around the world. Includes a giant wall chart and a CD of clip-art.

Through My Eyes: Autobiography of Ruby Bridges
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Ruby Bridges  
Scholastic Inc., $16.95 (Hard Cover)   

Ruby Bridges played a significant role in the history of civil rights. In 1961, as a tiny first-grader escorted by federal agents, she integrated an all-white school in New Orleans. This is Ruby's recollections of external and internal events. Powerful and powerfully moving.

The American Presidents 12th-25th The American Presidents 12th-25th
Ages: 8 - 14 yrs.
Disney Educational Productions,

Who knew Abe Lincoln had a high, squeaky voice. . . or that Ulysses S. Grant could ride a horse while standing on its back by the time he was five years old? Along with the very solid historical content, these humorous nuggets of information will help students see past presidents as real people; human beings with great accomplishments-but also human frailties, and even amusing foibles. Expert interviews provide context and commentary and include a fantastic mix of notables ranging from esteemed academics to former White House Aid Paul Begala and legendary journalists Bob Woodward and Sam Donaldson.

The American Presidents 1st-11th The American Presidents 1st-11th
Ages: 8 - 14 yrs.
Disney Educational Productions,

Disney Educational Productions is proving itself to be the high-water-mark of educational media - and they continue to shine with The American Presidents: The First Eleven Presidents. This 45-minute DVD is a superb blend of motion graphics, animation, sound effects, sight-gags, and interviews with top-notch experts, giving kids a glimpse at our first eleven presidents as they've never seen them before. For all its music, humor, and animation, history is front and center in this series, with carefully plotted vignettes highlighting each president's accomplishments and his challenges. Expert interviews provide context and commentary, with notables ranging from Pulitzer-prize winning author Jon Meacham to political commentator Mo Rocca. It all adds up to a fulfilling mix of political and personal information, something sure to make the characters memorable. In addition, the DVD includes an Interactive Whiteboard feature to test students' knowledge, and content is in line with National Curriculum Standards for grades 3 - 8.

School House Rock! Election Collection School House Rock! Election Collection
Ages: 9 - 14 yrs.
Disney Educational Productions, $29.95 (DVD)   

The Election Edition offers up 14 old favorites, including "I'm Gonna Send Your Vote to College," "Tax Man Max," "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" and, of course, "I'm Just a Bill." The songs remain as playful and patriotic as ever, the animation is deliciously bright and non-fussy, and since the law remains the law, the information imparted in the songs remains accurate all these years later. Among the extras: an entertaining PSA/song entitled "Presidential Minute," and a downloadable educator's guide with web links. Kids today might find the animation a bit old school, but Schoolhouse Rock represents a unique opportunity for parents to relive their youth while sharing a learning experience with their children.

We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Phillip Hoose  
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.00 (Hard Cover)   

Inspiring, well-written biographical vignettes of extraordinary children put a human face on U.S. history.


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