Monday, November 5, 2012

Picture Book Monday - A review of Babymouse for President

Tomorrow is Election Day in the United States. Finally, after months of speeches and debates, Americans are going to choose their next president. Many American children have been watching the campaign process,   and some of them have even staged elections of their own in their classrooms.

In today's title we see what happens when Babymouse decides to run for the school presidency. Being Babymouse, the election does not quite work out the way she hoped it would.

Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Graphic Novel
Ages 7 to 10
Random House, 2012, 978-0-375-86780-4
It is election time at Babymouse’s school, and she has decided (after eating a terrible school lunch) that she is going to run president of the school council. The narrator tells her to “be part of the solution,” which is when Babymouse begins to fantasize about what it would be like to be the president. Then she is brought firmly to earth when she is asked what her platform is going to be. Platform?
   At school the next day, Babymouse realizes that several of the other kids in school are running for the presidency, including Babymouse’s arch enemy, Felicia, and her friend Georgie. Then one of Babymouse’s friends offers to help. He takes her in er…wing, and helps Babymouse see that running for president is hard work. In fact, it requires that Babymouse do a lot of things that she would rather not do. Then there is that far bigger problem; that Babymouse has no idea what she believes in. Is she running just for fame and glory, or does Babymouse see that there is something bigger going on around her?
   In this deliciously funny tale, Babymouse once again manages to get the wrong end of the stick. She thinks only of what the school council presidency might do for her, and never stops to think that she might have something to offer, that she might be able to do something for the school to make it a better place.
   With delicious touches of humor and a clever story, Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm poke a little fun at political campaigns, and they also remind us that political office is more than just an opportunity for self-aggrandizement. 

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