Inside: Children’s books about voting, elections, and our government are vital for teaching kids the importance of making their voices heard today to ensure a vibrant tomorrow. These are the perfect books to help little ones understand why and how we exercise this significant right!
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Children’s Books About Voting and Elections Teach Kids the Importance of Exercising This Valuable Right!
We spend a significant amount of time impressing upon our children those qualities we hope they eventually embody: kindness, respect, honesty, self-confidence.
We do everything we can to teach them right from wrong, to be upstanders in their classrooms and to be selfless in their actions. Our goal is to create a generation of gracious, honest and intelligent leaders, children who grow into adults that want to both BE good and DO good.
In light of our current climate, though, there’s something else we must strive for, something that holds equal importance.
We are privileged to live in a country where we can make our voices heard.
We have inalienable rights, freedoms, and we have the power to elect representatives. So how do we make sure we raise children that understand these rights, participate in the democratic process and also take an active role in protecting and defending our freedoms?
You may think it’s way too early to talk to kids about the government, our political process, and the United States Constitution. But guess what? We can so easily bring these topics down to levels children understand by relating this subject matter to their everyday lives:
Kids have school rules they must follow every day (just like real “laws”!)
They have leaders that make decisions for them (school principals- who, in their young eyes, are virtually akin to the president!)
They even have their own version of elections (student government, starting as early as kindergarten!)
The point? Even young children can grasp the basics of our government and the importance of protecting the fundamental ideals our country was founded upon. Whether we are in an election year or not, children’s books about voting and our electoral process are always valuable when talking to kids about how our government works, why we vote, how we got the right to vote and how we choose which candidates we want to represent our voices.
This is not just important – it is essential if we seek to forever safeguard our constitution and the healthy functioning of our government.
We’ve been reading a lot in our house, and from fun fiction picture books for your littlest kids to non-fiction works for your older children, Happily Ever Elephants has a great list to help provide you with some fabulous books to explain democracy in action. We sincerely hope you enjoy this list, share it widely, and, most importantly, always exercise your right to vote!
Our favorite children’s books about voting!
Go Vote, Baby!, by Nancy R. Lambert and illustrated by Anne Passcier: Even your littlest kids can learn the basic notion of what it means to vote in this darling board book that empowers young children to make decisions in everyday situations. This great book teaches toddlers to always cast their vote, no matter how small their voices or decisions may seem! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham: When Grace learns there has never been a female president, she takes matters into her own hands and decides she must be the next president of her school. Grace thus enters the race, only to find herself running against another student who claims to be the “best man for the job” and has already captured all of the boys’ votes. Instead of getting nervous, Grace buckles down and runs on the platform that she is the best “person” for the job – and she may have just what it takes to go all the way! We also love the latest book in this series, Grace Goes to Washington. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference!, by Mark Shulman and illustrated by Serge Bloch: We absolutely adore this nonpartisan book that, with wit and easy to understand language explains the concept of voting to young children. From voting for what snack to eat to voting for elected representatives, this delightful and necessary story is a wonderful primer for children that also teaches an important lesson: you may not always win, but voting is important for everyone… and we must all make our voices heard! “If you don’t vote, you don’t get to choose[!]” Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
V is for Voting, by Kate Farrell and illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald: Looking for a great ABC book to teach kids all about voting, social justice and civil rights? This is that book! V is for Voting is a great primer on elections and advocacy, introducing children to the tenets of democracy and the active participation needed to make our country strong and just. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
President Squid, by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Sara Varon: What makes a good leader? Is it the size of his house? The tie he wears? Having a book named after him? President Squid is satire at its finest, providing young readers with a keen look at the qualities needed to be the big boss. We use this book frequently at school to discuss the important qualities any leader must possess, whether in the classroom or in the White House.
Duck for President, by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin: Duck isn’t happy with life on his farm, so he takes matters into his own hands and organizes an election for a new leader. Who wins? Duck wins! But Duck’s ambitions don’t end at his farm alone. He next makes a run for governor and then for president… and through it all Duck learns that being a leader requires quite a lot of hard work. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Vote for Me, by Ben Clanton: This is quite the satire on the current state of American politics, featuring a donkey and an elephant in the throes of an election. It is a witty take on the nomination process and the negativity that often prevails, showcasing how absurdities are made prevalent and how mud-slinging tactics are often utilized to make a candidate’s case. Is this the right way to campaign? Does it detract from the real issues? This is a fabulous picture book for prompting important discussion with your older readers. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Vote for our Future! by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by Micha Player: Kids may not be old enough to vote — but don’t let that stop them from making a difference! The kids of Stanton Elementary School know that every two years, on the first Tuesday of November, their school will be closed and used as a voting location. And though the students themselves can’t vote, that doesn’t mean they can’t encourage others to raise their voices and get to the polls! We love the way this vibrant book helps kids recognize that only if they vote today can they encourage positive change for tomorrow! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
What’s the Big Deal About Elections, by Ruby Shamir and illustrated by Matt Faulkner: I absolutely adore this non-fiction book. It is jam packed with information and is fabulous for kids of all ages – just pare it down for your younger kids, or go over every important word with your older ones. This book is as fun as it is informative, featuring not just information about voting rights, our branches of government and the role of the electoral college, but also wacky facts and trivia to delight readers of all ages. This is a must for every home and library! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, by Jonah Winter and Shane W. Evans: This is a powerful historical picture book about a 100 year old African-American woman who makes a long trek up a steep hill to vote for the very first time. As she walks, she remembers her family history — from the passage of the fifteenth amendment to her parents registering to vote, from the impossible tests given to prevent blacks from voting to marching in the civil rights protest from Selma to Montgomery. Moving, lyrical and tremendously important, this is a fabulous glimpse at American history. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
So You Want to Be President, by Judith St. George and illustrated by David Small: Take a walk through the first forty-one of our nation’s presidents, including wacky “tips” to abide by if you want to make it to the White House and some of the zaniest characteristics exhibited by our leaders. A fun and funny read with some fabulous information! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
If I Ran for President, by Catherine Stier and illustrated by Lynne Avril: What would it take for you to run for president? A lot of hard work, that’s for sure. This is a fabulous primer for young readers about how one runs for president. What is a caucus? What is a primary? What is a debate? Simple answers to these questions, with fun and humor inserted throughout the pages, make this book a winner. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
If I Were President, by Catherine Stier and illustrated by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan: Whereas If I Ran for President talks about actual campaigning, If I Were President discusses what happens when you make it to the Oval Office. From promising to protect the Constitution to the perks of being president to the notion of creating laws for the entire country, this is a simple and fun overview of the presidency for young readers. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, A Kitten and 10,000 Miles, by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Hadley Hooper: In 1916, two women set out on a mission— to drive 10,000 miles across America to make their voices heard. What message did they want to share? That women should have the right to vote, of courses! This is a fascinating look at a fascinating journey during the women’s suffrage movement, featuring two strong women who would brave all the elements to further one singular, critical cause: equal voting rights for women. Lively and vibrant, this book rocks! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
When you Grow Up to Vote: How Our Government Works for You, by Eleanor Roosevelt, Michelle Markel and illustrated by Grace Lin: This is a phenomenal, updated reissue of a chapter book that Roosevelt first wrote in 1932 when her husband was elected president. The book talks about something many children don’t always recognize- the government works for the people! The book begins by talking about government workers, then moves through explanations of our local and national governments, thus providing young people an exemplary overview about how our government is designed to function. A wonderful, informative and easy to understand book for your tweens! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
We the People: The United States Constitution Explored and Explained, by Aura Lewis and Evan Sargent: If you have a tween in upper elementary or middle school who wants to learn more about the Constitution and the inner workings of the United States government, your child will love this fabulously informative and accessible book! With clear, easy to understand text and vibrant illustrations, this book serves as a great introduction to how this singular document establishes justice, frames our government, and affects our every day lives. We absolutely love this one! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!