what’s the big deal about elections?

Unless you’ve been living in a very deep hole for quite some time, you’re probably aware that the mid-term elections are just around the corner.

Although it may seem like politics is an irredeemable mess in our country, and the schisms between us are so very sharp and jagged…

…still, our freedom to vote for the candidates we believe will best govern us is remarkable, and this dandy book does a brilliant job of explaining why in an upbeat, non-partisan voice:

elections cover image

What’s the Big Deal about Elections, written by Ruby Shamir, illustrated by Matt Faulkner
published in 2018 by Philomel Books

Shamir condenses quite a nice civics lesson into brief, engaging paragraphs that answer questions about who can vote, what elected officials do, who gets to run for office, what happens to the folks who lose, and why all of this matters. She touches on both the historical and current responses to these questions.

elections interior by Shamir and Faulkner

If all that sounds as dry as day-old toast, let me assure you that Shamir manages to do this with a casual, flavorful approach that will probably coax you into wanting to know more. In addition, snippets of further information and anecdotes are pasted here and there on the pages, extending the scope of the book without making that text look ever so long.

elections interior3 by Shamir and Faulkner

Of course, with Matt Faulkner illustrating the whole business, you know there will be nary a stodgy moment. His amiable, lighthearted, pleasing illustrations and hand-lettering meander through the pages bringing joy, diversity, and energy everywhere they go.

elections interior2 by Shamir and Faulkner

Included are a timeline on voting rights and list of books for further reading. Reach for this title as a tool for teaching kids (and yourselves), as a springboard to conversations about all kinds of issues, or as a spark plug for engaging kids in civic participation. It’s a timely choice for ages 9 and up.