Monday, October 13, 2008

Woodrow for President

Last week the boys and I stumbled upon a delightful storybook, Woodrow for President: A Tail of Voting, Campaigns, and Elections, written by Peter and Cheryl Shaw Barnes.  The timing could not have been better as our national election is less than 4 weeks away. Hubby and I have been paying quite a bit of attention to the current race for president, but-- surprise, surprise-- the boys have had no interest whatsoever. It's been our desire, therefore, to introduce them to this whole process-- not to overwhelm them with oodles of details, but to provide them with a basic framework of our electoral procedures. Where to begin, though?  Where to begin?

Well, this book proved to be the perfect starting place.  Through a simple rhyming text, the authors tell the tale of Woodrow G. Washingtail, an all-American mouse, who wants to make his town a better place.  From his earliest days on town council to his eventual run for the presidency, this book covers it all.  Here's a snippet:  

One day, Woodrow's friends said, "Woodrow we hear
There's a seat on town council that is open this year.
With your heart and your brains, we agree you'd be great,
If you run for the job, as our mouse candidate!

A "candidate," in our nation's tradition,
Is someone who seeks an important position
By entering a contest called an "election,"
And citizens vote to make their selection.

You vote For or Against to express your own view
Of a candidate (or issue) important to you,
In private, in secret, without fear or fright--
In our democracy, it's our most basic right.

Even though this book was certainly intended for a younger audience, Hubby and I found that even our just-turned 10-year old enjoyed it. So, after a few great questions and a bit of lively discussion, we're off to learn more about our nation's electoral process (who knows... I'll probably learn a fair bit, too!) and after that, we'll read through the Barnes' other books, Woodrow: the White House Mouse; House Mouse, Senate Mouse; and Marshall, the Courthouse Mouse. 

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