[I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.]
Told in an upbeat and swinging verse with bright and animated illustrations, Monster Needs Your Vote is an inspiring and fun picture book that shows readers that even though they’re not able to vote, there are plenty of things they can still do to make a difference.
What has Monster been doing these days? Last we saw of him, he needed, and successfully received, a party. Now, it appears he’s getting into politics. Monster wants to vote — no, actually — Monster needs to vote, but then he finds out that he’s too young. However, like the resilient, young monster we’ve come to know in this series — he simply shrugs it off and and decides that if he can’t vote, he’ll run for president. As president, he’ll work hard to ensure that summer is twice as long. When that fails to interest people — he promises, a la President Hoover, “A chocolate cake on every plate, a pie in every pot.” But it appears that no one is really interested in that either. (Hrm, tough crowd.)
He’s, understandably, discouraged and about to drop out of the race when he and boy come across something that should horrify everyone — a public library closing. And that’s when passion finds Monster and boy. They’re on fire and ready, “to protect schools and learning tools.” Monster is picking up momentum, doing well in debates, and then whoops — they learn that he isn’t 35 and can’t become president! That’s certainly a setback, but doesn’t come close to stopping him from campaigning for his cause. While he’ll have to wait to become president — he’s still able to save the library. But watch out because — he’s just getting started.
Monster Needs Your Vote is a great book — especially during this election time. My husband and I have spent so much time talking about the primaries that it is only natural that my eldest son has been asking questions and this book has afforded us the opportunity to talk about elections, voting, age requirements, and important political issues on his terms.
The very first page of Monster Needs Your Vote has a great illustration of woman campaigning for president and she has a board that says, “Wealth, Inequality, Gun Control, Health Care, and Immigration.” So right there on the first page is a whole list of important topics that you can either initiate or let them initiate. It’s subtle — as it is part of the background illustration and not the verse — but it is well thought out and a great way to see what you and those you’re reading it with are up for talking about.
There are a fair number of diverse characters in the story — various races, religious, cultures, and physical abilities. My son asked why a woman was wearing a head covering and it gave us the opportunity to talk about what a hijab is and why some women wear one. It was an unexpected, but welcome, question.
Monster’s attitude throughout the whole story is admirable. Can’t vote? No problem, just run for president. Can’t be president, yet? Doesn’t matter — the issue are what’s important, not the title. Monster’s resilient, positive, and energetic approach to obstacles is contagious — even for the most cynical among us.
I love reading Monster Needs Your Vote with both of my children. The illustrations and verse are absorbing and stimulating for even very young children while the message is important and inspiring. It’s a fantastic book to introduce a little about the political process while inspiring readers of all ages to focus on what they can do.
Recommended Ages: 2 to 8. Mighty Media Press. September 2015. ISBN: 978-1938063633. 32 pages. Fiction. Hardcover.
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Where Obtained: I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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