Vote—but not for this candidate.

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WOODROW FOR PRESIDENT

A TAIL OF VOTING, CAMPAIGNS, AND ELECTIONS

A mouse with a smile as wide as Ike’s and outstretched arms as expansive as Nixon’s runs a successful campaign for the presidency.

Woodrow G. Washingtail of Moussouri, born with a political spoon in his teeth, grows up to be an “all-American mouse of renown” and marries his Bess. He leads an exemplary small-town life, runs for town council, mayor, state senate and “governor of the whole state!” He then declares his candidacy for the nation’s “Big Cheese” as the choice of the Bull Mouse party. The husband-and-wife writing and illustrating team go on to describe the entire presidential campaign process, with information on political parties, primaries, debates, conventions, campaigns and inauguration. Woodrow is, of course, elected as “the hope of all mice, the hope of a nation” after an all-around clean and wholesome crusade. The entire “tail” is written in quatrains with an AABB rhyming scheme. Unfortunately, maintaining this structure often leads to awkward scanning and phrasing. A surfeit of puns wears thin, as Hairry King conducts an interview, Mousechusetts attends the National Convention and Senator Ed Mouse-ski debates. Amateurishly drawn full-page cartoon illustrations owe much to Richard Scarry, but are crowded and too full of toothy smiles.

Vote—but not for this candidate. (resources for parents and teachers, additional information and activities, reproducible “contract to vote.”) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59698-786-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Patriot Press

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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A life devoted to freedom and dignity, worthy of praise and remembrance.

MUMBET'S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

With the words of Massachusetts colonial rebels ringing in her ears, a slave determines to win her freedom.

In 1780, Mumbet heard the words of the new Massachusetts constitution, including its declaration of freedom and equality. With the help of a young lawyer, she went to court and the following year, won her freedom, becoming Elizabeth Freeman. Slavery was declared illegal and subsequently outlawed in the state. Woelfle writes with fervor as she describes Mumbet’s life in the household of John Ashley, a rich landowner and businessman who hosted protest meetings against British taxation. His wife was abrasive and abusive, striking out with a coal shovel at a young girl, possibly Mumbet’s daughter. Mumbet deflected the blow and regarded the wound as “her badge of bravery.” Ironically, the lawyer who took her case, Theodore Sedgwick, had attended John Ashley’s meetings. Delinois’ full-bleed paintings are heroic in scale, richly textured and vibrant. Typography becomes part of the page design as the font increases when the text mentions freedom. Another slave in the Ashley household was named in the court case, but Woelfle, keeping her young audience in mind, keeps it simple, wisely focusing on Mumbet.

A life devoted to freedom and dignity, worthy of praise and remembrance. (author’s note, selected bibliography, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7613-6589-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2013

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A beautiful portrayal of a historic and arduous family journey northward

OVERGROUND RAILROAD

One family’s experience of the Great Migration.

Cline-Ransome and Ransome, a husband-and-wife author-and-illustrator team, have again collaborated on an important story from African American history. Narrator Ruth Ellen, Mama, and Daddy awaken early to travel to New York without the permission or knowledge of the landowner on whose land they sharecrop. (The author’s note mentions that landowners often used threats and violence to keep sharecroppers on the land and perpetually in debt.) The family boards the train with luggage, tickets, and food in a shoebox—since black folks cannot eat in the dining car and must sit in the colored section of the train. The conductor calls out the cities as they progress North. When the conductor removes the “whites only” sign near Baltimore, African Americans can sit wherever they want—though it takes some time before Ruth Ellen and her family find white riders who smile a welcome. Ruth Ellen reads Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass aloud to Mama on the train ride, a gift from her teacher that parallels her own family’s journey. Ransome’s watercolor-and-collage illustrations effectively capture both the historical setting and the trepidation of a family who though not enslaved, nevertheless must escape as if they were. Cotton bolls throughout the images accentuate cotton’s economic dominance in the sharecropping system.

A beautiful portrayal of a historic and arduous family journey northward . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3873-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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