V Is for Voting, written by Kate Farrell, illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald
V IS FOR VOTING
written by Kate Farrell
illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald
Review Copy from Macmillan Children's Books
Teaching civics, the study of the rights and duties of citizen, is something that, like teaching social-emotional skills and social justice, can no longer wait until high school or later. Happily, gratefully, Kate Farrell and Cailtin Kuhwald have given parents, educators, and activists the perfect place to start. While the restrictions of an alphabet picture book usually make for a contrived, soulless read, V IS FOR VOTING is anything but that. Farrell educates and empowers readers with energy and purpose, delivering a rhyming text that is never forced.
A is for active participation.
B is for building a more equal nation
From the first pages of V IS FOR VOTING, readers know what they are being called on to do and why. With every page (and letter) that comes after, Farrell and Kuhwald make this clear in uplifting, moving, joyful ways with illustrations that emphasize connection, community and collective efficacy.
C is for citizens' rights and our duty.
D is for difference - our strength and our beauty.
Kuhwald's bright, bold illustrations add extra depth, meaning and importance to the text as she, with a range of diversity that truly reflects our country, includes historical figures, many of whom should be recognizable to young readers. Two pages of backmatter share a Voting Rights Time Line, the names of the people in the illustrations and ways you can participate in voting even if you are not old enough to vote.
E for engagement. We all need to care.
F for a free press to find facts and share.
Farrell's economy of words is stunning and I am tempted to share the entire book here, but I want you to discover V IS FOR VOTING on your own and, most importantly, buy a copy for your bookshelf and one for your local public school.
J is for judges. They're meant to be fair.
To be neutral, unbiased, objective, they swear.
(the illustration shows, hand over heart, a headless figure in a black robe with a jabot on)
T is for talented teachers in schools.
Well-informed citizens don't suffer fools.
(Sojourner Truth, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Angela Davis can be seen pouring out of books students are reading in class. With 50% of students in public schools reading below grade level, literacy is a vital part of equity.)