E is for Election Day by Gloria M. Gavris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
E is for Election Day by Gloria M. Gavris and illustrated by Shawn McCann is a children's book about elections in America and has the target audience of young children. Although the author has not made it clear what age group it is targeted for, I have found that my 6 year old granddaughter got the most out of the information and the basic understanding of the process as described while my 3 year old grandson seemed most excited by the pictures and repeating the new words he just heard. I am unclear if he really understands any of it, probably not since he just turned three but the fact he stayed to hear the whole book and repeated some of the words is fantastic. (Him running around the room yelling "Go vote" at the top of his lungs, not so much!) The older grandchildren (8 and 10) thought it was a 'baby book' and were not interested in it.
I found the book does go through the election process in a simple way that young children can understand without getting into the complications of popular votes vs electoral votes. In fact, the Electoral College isn't even mentioned. It states the US is a democracy which I really don't agree with but it is consistent with the popular views of society. I also found that the questions it asks the reader encourages thinking and opens the door for discussion not only of the book itself but a get-to-know-you experience because naturally the questions went to asking me if I ever voted, go to a debate, hold a political sign...
As I said, I found it is a little confusing as to the targeted age because it is like an ABC Book where it states "Aa is for American Election", "Bb is for Ballots"... which of course a 3 year old would be the target age for and not a 6 year old who already knows the alphabet however, the information is something that a 3 year old would not grasp with a real understanding whereas a 6 year old would understand it much better. Even with that being said, chances are there are words a 3 year old probably never heard before. (I don't ever recall talking about votes, ballots, or debates in front of the 3 year old in normal conversation even with another adult.) Although it isn't something he'd understand, I still think there is a benefit for him to hear and repeat the words plus the added benefit of him hearing a story that kept him occupied while pointing to the fantastic illustrations and telling me things he recognizes such as balloons and cars. So I wouldn't count this book out for a 3 year old but I would plan on reading it again to him when he is older.
I think this is one book that I would strongly recommend reading to children or at least sit there and let the child read it to you so you can take part in the discussion with the child. The book makes it easy for conversation and it also requires thinking on the child's part. Another reason I love this book and recommend it is because it is a subject that isn't normally covered or talked about yet it is something we live by and/or should do here in America.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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