Quick Summary of Woodrow for President:
- Author: Peter W. Barnes
- Illustrator: Cheryl Shaw Barnes (husband/wife team)
- Ages: Listed as 5 and up. (I would personally list it a little higher, maybe six and up. This book was too long for my four-year old who typically listens to books on a higher age level.)
- Pages: 32 pages (last couple of pages are a resource for parents)
- Text Density: high (approximately 6 stanzas of verse per page)
- Published: 2012
- Publisher: Little Patriot Press
“The state of Mouse Hampshire, a wonderful place,
Is home to the very first primary race . . . “
- The entire book is written in AABB quatrain (with the exception of the appendix), no small feat for covering the entire electoral process. Many of the rhymes are even a bit complicated, with multiple syllable words ending sentences. Unfortunately, the poem’s form does seem to dictate the content in parts with awkward sentences and use of words that force unnatural pronunciations by making a reader reading aloud want to rhyme words that don’t truly rhyme (example: “care” and “mayor”).
- The picture book is full of a number of word plays and puns that at times are clever and add to the mouse theme (such as the “Bull Mouse” party), but at other times seem cliched or overboard (ex. Woodrow is elected to be the “Big Cheese”).
- Cheryl Barnes’ illustrations are full of colorful details that children will enjoy pouring over. Each page also features a hidden Secret Service mouse for kids to look for. (I know my child loves this sort of thing.) At the same time, the small details might make this book not an ideal choice for a teacher to read aloud to a class. Also, the illustrations excel in the small objects and places that they depict but seem a bit unpolished in the depictions of the mice.
- I think the greatest strength of this book is how well the Barnes explained the electoral process. Woodrow for President is easy enough for a small child to understand and contains enough facts that even an adult might be surprised to learn a fact or two.
- I also liked the emphasis on hard work and community service being the first steps to serving in political office.
So, would I recommend Woodrow for President?
And, if you want a different opinion, be sure to stop by the TLC Tour page where you can find a list of blogs reviewing this same book (or you can hop over to Kirkus Review and find out what the literary critics think).
Activity Ideas/Printables for Woodrow for President:
And, from two of my favorite blogs these great President Day activities:
Counting to 44: President’s Day Sequencing Activities (includes a link to a free printable set of President cards)
President’s Day: Andy Warhol Style
Living Montessori Now:
President’s Day Activities (This is a HUGE list of activities!)
So, what do you think? Do you have a favorite book or activity for kids about American politics?
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. This blog contains Amazon affiliate links.