Show Up and Vote

Penguin Workshop/Rise X. Aug. 2024. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593383773.
K-Gr 3–It’s an important day in November, rainy and cold, but a young girl’s mother tells her that they must go out because they have a “mission” to fulfill. Her mama explains voting is where all people have a say about improving their communities, but only if they vote. It’s a huge decision that every person should take seriously. When they enter the building, a lady looks up Mama’s name and Mama signs her signature next to it. Then, the girl is excited because they are “invited” into a booth with a curtain. She watches as her mother chooses each name. As they walk back home, the girl sees the same neighborhood, but through new eyes. Now she sees how each person cares for the others by voting. The author’s note at the beginning of the book shares that her own mother taught her it was a duty and honor to vote. It is a learned behavior and must be taught to children by their parents or other adults. The note explains how the author’s mother and the mother in the book show by example—a far more compelling lesson than simply telling a child to vote. Baker captures the moments inside the voting building and neighbors on the street. Readers will connect to the rhyming prose about an important topic, which makes the lesson fun rather than preachy.
VERDICT An important, accessible read for young readers and a must for all collections.

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