On this momentous day, Election Day, while those of us who are of age vote, we must think about our future. Children across the United States will inherit the world we give them. They deserve to understand what Election Day and voting are and why it’s crucial to our society.
Elections of all types allow adults to teach children about the U.S. democratic process. Children’s books are the best way to do it. You might even learn a thing or two as an adult. Recently, more and more published children’s books have been geared toward teaching children about pivotal topics. This includes topics such as COVID-19, mental health, grief, diversity, and yes, our government.
There are thousands of children’s books available as resources to teach the children in your life about the importance of voting and Election Day. These five children’s books are some of the many titles that shed light on the voting process, elections, and political figures. Head to your local bookstore or your child’s school library to find more resources. Let the books be your guide to educating future generations of voters.
1. “One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote”
Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library has taught children everywhere about major topics for years. In this rhyming nonfiction book by Bonnie Worth, illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu, children can learn about how, why, and who we vote for in elections. Young readers will learn about the fundamental principles of democracy, what political parties are, and why Election Day is in early November.
2. “If I Ran for President”
Written by Catherine Stier and illustrated by Lynne Avril, this book allows children to think about their future and what it would be like if they ran for President. Things such as traveling the country and having your face on T-shirts may be fun, but this picture book shares there’s hard work that goes along with running for President. This book is an enjoyable yet informative way to learn about the election process and a terrific conversation starter for you and your children.
3. “Equality’s Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America”
This country was founded on white men and their votes alone, but this book by Deborah Diesen and illustrator Magdalena Mora explains how people through the years have been working to ensure the right for all to vote. With powerful imagery and a strong story, children can learn about activists who answered equality’s call and all the work that still needs to be done. “A right isn’t a right till it’s granted to all…”
4. “Grace for President”
What is the electoral college, and why does every vote count? This book by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator LeUyen Pham makes understanding politics easy. So often, we see women under-represented in politics, but with determination and courage, Grace shows she doesn’t have to be the “best man for the job,” she just has to try and be the best person.
5. “I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference”
Mark Shulman and illustrator Serge Bloch create a funny and timely book as a resource when discussing current events with children. This title introduces concepts of democracy and choosing the leaders we want carefully using nonpartisan examples like favorite desserts and class pets. In a simple and unbiased way, children can learn to be respectful and fair while understanding how to vote.
Voting is a right and privilege
We have to give kids the credit they deserve; they can understand a lot more than we think they can. Take the time not only on this Election Day but all year round to educate younger generations. There’s a difference between knowing and comprehending. Not only should children learn about how the country they live in operates, but they need to understand it. Children’s books use simple yet fun pictures and themes to teach children to be informed voters when it’s their turn to go to fill out their ballots. Lead by example and advocate for your child’s future by voting today. After all, one day, they’ll be in charge.