Sunday, September 14, 2008

Duck for President (Genre 1 Picture Books)

Cronin, Doreen. 2004. Duck for President. Ill. by Betsy Lewin. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc. ISBN 0-439-67144-2.
Plot Summary
Duck decided he did no like the rules Farmer Brown had set so he held an election to allow the animals a chance to vote him in as the new farm leader. Duck won the election but decided that running a farm was too hard so he began a campaign for governor. After winning that election, Duck set his sights on the Presidency and won. In the end, Duck headed back to the farm.
Critical Analysis
This story is a fun look into the election process (reasons for running, voter registration, campaigns, casting ballots, recounts, etc.) though some liberties have been taken. The author also does a nice job of presenting the hard work involved in the jobs children don't always think of as being hard. The vocabulary is somewhat high-level so the youngest readers would not be able to read the book independently but in the same token, the book is a fun way to expose children to the vocabulary.

The illustrations support the text well by adding details and expression. Many times, the illustrations also add to the overall humor of the story. The colors used are vibrant and patriotic throughout the book which in turn create interest. Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin make a great team.
Professional Review Excerpt
From School Library Journal PreSchool-Grade 2--Lewin's characteristic humorous watercolors with bold black outlines fill the pages with color and jokes. Cronin's text is hilarious for kids and adults and includes a little math and quite a bit about the electoral process. The animals, who have no verbal language that humans can understand, are empowered by the use of the written word, and the subliminal message comes through loud and clear--one can almost hear youngsters thinking, "Watch out grown-ups! Just wait till I learn to read."--Jane Barrer, Washington Square Village Creative Steps, New York City Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
~An obvious connection is to social studies and government and specifically the election process.
~This book could also be used in an author/illustrator study of Cronin and Lewin.
~Analyze the character of Duck using this book as well as Dooby Dooby Moo, Giggle, Giggle, Quack, and other books containing the character of Duck.

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