Great Illustrated Books

Grace for President

By Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Hyperion Book, 2008
Pages : 40
Suggested Ages: 6-9
ISBN: 9780786839193

Meet a spunky and determined African American schoolkid, Grace Campbell, who, upon inspecting her teacher's big poster of the presidents, exclaims in outrage, "Where are the GIRLS?" Mrs. Barrington explains, "The truth is, our country has never had a woman president." Grace announces, "I've been thinking it over, and I'd like to be president." Embracing what teacher will recognize as an irresistible "teachable moment," Mrs. Barrington sets up a school election with Mr. Waller's class: Grace versus popular Thomas Cobb, school soccer star. The students pick cards from a hat, each one bearing the name of a state and the number of its electoral votes. Just like in national election, the candidate amassing 270 or more votes will win.

Grace and Thomas come up with slogans, make posters and lists of campaign promises, meet with their constituents, give speeches, and hold rallies. At Woodrow Wilson Elementary's special Election Day assembly, after every child but one has cast the electoral vote for his or her state, the score stands at 268 to 267. The outcome will depend on Sam, representing Wyoming, the Equality State, with a mere three electoral votes. Which candidate will he choose? LeUyen Pham's enormously appealing kinetic illustrations—shaded ink drawings combined digitally with collaged fabrics and papers—are packed with an exuberant cast of multicultural kids.

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