With the presidential election fast approaching, we’ve been doing a lot of reading and learning activities in our house to help answer questions my son has about how the whole process works. Here are some great books we’ve discovered to teach kids of different ages about elections, plus a couple bonus ones we love about the presidents and their spouses!
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Books about Elections
If you haven’t been reading the Bad Kitty books, you have really been missing out! I love to read these with my son because they are just so funny. In Bad Kitty for President, Bad Kitty decides to run for president of the Neighborhood Cat Club because Old Kitty is now, well, too old. Along the way Bad Kitty learns all about what elections, how to run a campaign (you can’t bribe other cats by offering them fish!), and how to, erm, gracefully accept the results. Sprinkled along the way are “fun facts” from bumbling Uncle Murphy plus a glossary at the back which my son quickly memorized. Blame this book if he starts talking to you about PACs! He seems to know more about them than I do…
Smart About the Presidents isn’t strictly about elections, but most children start to be more curious about past presidents when they start studying the current election. Here you can find a chronological listing of the presidents, with one page for each, plus bonus topics like how elections work. Each page is very engaging, with hand drawn pictures and fun facts about each president. Did you know that George Washington was the only president who never lived in the White House, or that the “S” in Harry S. Truman doesn’t stand for anything? (If you have seen my son in the past few weeks, you already know these facts because he has told you several times!) I also love Smart About the First Ladies. You’ll even find information in there about a current presidential candidate! These books are such a great way to get kids interested in American history, and great reference guides for adults as well!
A great middle grade book is Secrets to Ruling School: Class Election, the sequel to Secrets to Ruling School (Without Even Trying). It is so hilarious! And I love that even though it’s aimed at middle schoolers, everything is perfectly fine for my much younger advanced reader. (He just misses some of the cultural references like who Taylor Swift and Scarlet Johannson are). In this new book, Max has signed on to be YOUR campaign manager, and with his help you can be the next class president! Learn how to make a viral video, the best political swag (chewing gum!) and how to handle a debate after a scandal. (Hmm, current presidential candidates should read this book!) It’s very witty and engaging book that mixes cartoons and traditional narrative and so is great for reluctant readers.
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