V is for Voting (Book Review 13)

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V is Voting by Kate Ferrell and Caitlin Kuhwald (2020)

Summary: this alphabet book is not your typical ABC book. It covers covers concepts from voting to justice and history and democracy. This text is told with engaging rhyme and bright, graphic art in a way that can spark conversation with our youngest readers. This informational fiction picture book follows a young protagonist as she prepares to go with her family to vote and to march.

What I Enjoyed

  • A Fresh Take on a Well-Known Concept: Talk about language with a social impact. Even though the ideas of democracy are big, the story presents concepts n a way that is accessible to kids through rhyme and punchy lines without being preachy.
  • Historical and Current Backmatter: This picture book back includes matter about voter registration, identifies key current/historical figures, and has a timeline written in a way that is accessible for parents and educators.
  • Depth and Readability: The illustrations bring so much context to each line in the story. Everything from the endpapers hinting to a ballot, civil rights symbols, historical and current leaders social justice leaders, in a way that is visually inspiring. You can chose to read this book on so many levels. The illustrations alone require many close looks.

Mentor Text Moments

  • For Authors – Rhyme time: The narrative structure in this book is not the usual trial/fail cycle or the rule of threes. It uses the alphabet as a way to provide an in-depth look on many big ideas. The rhyme is intentional, but still expressive. For example instead of using the same end-rhyme or stanza length, the narrative allows each letter and concept to work on its own.
  • For Illustrators – where’s our protagonist?: The text is written with a lot of pronouns, leaving room for the reader to insert themselves, but as a consequence, there is no one single protagonist. Caitlin centers the visual story on a girl , dressed in red, white, and blue as the visual anchor for most spreads.
  • For Illustrators – visual style: This story has a mix of bold, graphic illustrations that includes a dash of textures in a simple style. I love that the characters could be easily drawn by the readers. Additionally, the visual story includes a lot of intentional choices to include representation from marginalized voices.

Want To Read More?

For more by Kate Farrell, visit their website.

For more by Caitlin Kuhwald, visit their website.

This book was received as part of a giveaway, but the thoughts and review represented here are my own.

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