At-Home Learning is an early childhood education resource (for ages 2-8) providing families, educators and community partners with at-home learning activities, guides, and expert advice.
In mere weeks the U.S. will tally votes and a new president could be chosen to serve our country as the leader for the next four years. Helping children understand the election process and the importance of voting can actually be enjoyable with the help of books. Discover children’s books that celebrate and discuss the United State’s representative democracy in this board and picture book list below:
1. “Baby Loves Political Science: Democracy!” (ages birth-3)
Written by Ruth Spiro and illustrated by Greg Paprocki
An introduction to basic vocabulary surrounding democracy, this delightful board book with retro illustrations is both hip and helpful in cultivating a passion for voting in the youngest of readers.
2. “Citizen Baby: My Vote” (ages birth-3)
Written by Megan E. Bryant and Daniel Prosterman; illustrated by Micah Player
This adorable board book is both educational and humorous, making it an enjoyable read for both parent and child. Follow Citizen Baby from town hall meetings past his bedtime, to earning his sticker on Election Day to waiting for the results. Citizen Baby is charming and thoughtful from beginning to end.
3. “V is For Voting” (ages 3-6)
Written by Kate Farrell and illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald
A smart and thorough ABC picture book taking the reader from A is for Active Participation to Z is for Zeal, “V is for Voting” is a rhyming and engaging introduction to the many components that make up democracy. The illustrations are bold, fun and representative, complementing the book perfectly.
4. “A Small History of a Disagreement” (ages 6-10)
Written by Claudio Fuentes and illustrated by Gabriela Lyon
This picture book provides children a tangible example of debating effectively. By using story, it cleverly teaches that in order to solve disagreements, listening to each other and being respectful is critical. In the book, the Developers want to knock down a historical millennial tree for construction of a new building, while the Millenials want to protect the tree. It is quickly evident that everyone has an opinion and that campaigning and voting will be part of the mix. “A Small History of Disagreement” lays the foundation for civil discourse, effective campaigning and how to work together despite having differing opinions.
5. “The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents” (ages 6-10)
Written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Adam Rex
This beautifully illustrated picture book provides brief details of all 45 U.S. presidents’ childhoods and what got them on the path to becoming future leaders. Full of interesting facts and inspiring information, “Next President” is an excellent choice to teach young readers that American Presidents come from a variety of backgrounds and vocations. It gently leads the way to a discussion about how our vote determines who will become the next President and how gender and race should not be viewed as obstacles to running for this highest office.
6. “A Kids Book About Voting” (ages 8+)
Written by Next Up and designed by A Kids Book About, Inc.
A brilliant, concise children’s book on the history of voting and elections in the U.S., “A Kids Book About Voting” champions the message that voting is a civic duty and a power every U.S. citizen has. This book cultivates confident and kind kids who see value in their voices and in a future of consistent voting.
7. “What Is A Presidential Election?” (ages 8+)
Written by Douglas Yacka and Who HQ; illustrated by Robert Squier
This book not only provides key information on U.S. politics and elections, but it invites the reader to get involved along the way by using writing prompts and other fun activities, including designing campaign stickers. Both thoughtful and thorough, it does an excellent job of covering the election process in a way that captures the attention of the reader.
Meg Raby is a speech language pathologist, children’s book author and reviewer of children’s books published by many well-known publishing houses including Chronicle Books, HarperCollins and Gibbs Smith. She runs two Instagram accounts, @bedtime.stories.forevermore, where she highlights only the best in children’s literature, and @mybrotherotto, where she advocates for autistic children and adults while championing the message that everyone should be included.