As we await the final results of Tuesday’s election, I wanted to share my favorite political read of the year: Grace for President written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham.
When her teacher unveils a poster with all of the presidents on it, Grace asks the obvious question, “Where are the girls?” Grace decides that she would like to be president, so her teacher is inspired to hold an election at their school. As it turns out, the other class nominates Thomas as their candidate. The rest of the students in the class choose a state to represent and then learn that each state has a different number of electoral votes. Grace will have to earn at least 270 electoral votes in order to win. Grace creates posters, listens to the issues that are important to her classmates, creates a productive list of promises, meets with her constituents, gives speeches, joins the safety squad, organizes a committee, and volunteers at her school. Meanwhile, Thomas realizes that if all the boys vote for him, he’ll win, so he plays soccer and makes a few glittering promises. Finally, it’s time to have the election. Each representative stands up and casts their votes. The race is neck and neck. It all comes down to one final state: Wyoming. Even though Wyoming is represented by a boy, he decides to cast his three votes for Grace – making her the winner.
This book is clever, frustrating, and inspiring, all at the same time. It’s clever because Kelly DiPucchio’s text is tongue-in-cheek. On one hand, it’s a simple story about a class election, but the adults will catch the nuances of a girl – of color, nonetheless – running against a white boy. Frustratingly, even though she clearly works harder, has good intentions, and runs a fair race, she barely scrapes by with the win. Luckily, Grace’s win makes the story inspiring. There’s also a great picture of grown-up Grace at her presidential inauguration on the final page of the book, next to an author’s note explaining a few more details about how the electoral college works. Honestly, I got a bit teary-eyed as I read this story out loud. The illustrations are darling, and I love how you can read Grace’s emotions on her face. I’m already thinking about several friends that I want to gift this picture book to – Christmas gifts, perhaps?
Other Kelly DiPucchio Books We’ve Enjoyed:
- Everyone Loves Bacon
- Everyone Loves Cupcake
- Dragon Was Terrible