Hello, friends! Our book today is V is For Voting, written by Kate Farrell and illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald, a phenomenal, alphabetical look at the importance of voting.
With empowering rhyming text, bookworms are given the A to Z of responsibility and engagement in a democratic society. The reader follows the central character, a brown-skinned and afro-puffed girl bedecked in red, white, and blue, as she and her fellow citizens learn, investigate, protest, educate, and act.
Powerful and inspiring. While the central conceit is an alphabet book – and indeed, it performs this function admirably – the raw energy in both the art and text of this title is intended to inform and empower. And remarkably, this picture book of complex issues manages to distill them to their essence in a way that can speak to even the smallest of bookworms; it’s a communication so simple yet effective that it astounds. Bold, full-color art presents a marvelously diverse cast and depicts a wealth of political, governmental, and civil rights luminaries. Shirley Chisholm, Cesar Chavez, Harvey Milk – to name but a few – are lovingly represented and introduced in the backmatter, along with facts about suffrage and voting; icons RBG and AOC are visually alluded to. Diversity is openly celebrated in rainbow flags, transgender symbols, and Black Lives Matter icons. Teachers, free press, and social activism are lauded. A subtle visual showing a garden being planted in hope, then later shown having its lone surviving flower determinedly being tended to by the girl (“W is working for change, win or lose”) brought tears to my eyes. The length is perfect, JJ loved the art and spirit of the text. This book is simply beautiful, and should be in every classroom, to show young readers from the very first that they have the power and responsibility to themselves and their fellow Americans to act, to change, to think, and to vote. Emphatically Baby Bookworm approved.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)