Children’s Book Review: A Little Election by Danny Katz and Mitch Vane

I have always been passionate about helping children understand how government and voting work in Australia. I find the process quite fascinating. I’m hoping I’ve enthused my students enough that one of them will one day be the Prime Minister of Australia!!!

Australians have a lot of politics to digest as the 2013 election campaigns come to an end this week. Newspapers, radio stations and news broadcasts continue to be filled with election news. Hopefully this means your kids are asking you lots of questions. But if you’re not sure how to break it all down for your kids, then here is a book that you need to hunt down at your local bookstore or library this week.

Children's Book Review of A Little Election

The humorous duo who created the Little Lunch series, and A Book About Scary, has also created a thoroughly entertaining, yet informative book for kids about the election process.  Meet the gang from Little Lunch as their teacher, Mrs Gonsha, navigates them through an election.

Mrs. Gonsha sets Rory straight when he announces himself as the Prime Minister one lunchtime, and she explains that he must be elected by the people.  She allocates each student an electoral seat- although some are unhappy about the chewing gum and bird poo in their electorate- and organises a secret ballot.

There are candidates, campaigns, speeches, election promises, journalists and happy voters.

When Rory wins the election, he learns that being Prime Minister doesn’t give him a licence to do whatever he wants. Instead, he seems to take his new responsibility quite seriously.

Rory turned out to be a very good Prime Minister.

and for the rest of the day,

he didn’t lick anyone,

or bite anyone,

or pull down his pants

and show his seahorse undies.

This book truly made me laugh out loud. I love its school-yard approach, and I think parents will also appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humour as they read the story to their children. I particularly love that it introduces key terminology such as Prime Minister, election, voters and electoral seat.

Mrs Gonsha said, “The Prime Minister doesn’t do naughty things.”

I must pick up on one significant error though: The people of Australia do not vote for a Prime Minister. I truly believe this is one of the biggest misunderstandings ordinary Australians have about government.  The Prime Minister is elected by the members of the winning party, not the Australian voters. (Oops! I did warn you that I’m passionate!!)

BUT honestly, for the purpose of helping children understand elections, this book is fabulous. Kids will be hooked by talk of homework-free days and a Fairy Angel Pary. Danny Katz has really simplified a complex process for kids with his recognisable ‘kid-speak’.

Book Details:

Author: Danny Katz

Illustrator: Mitch Vane

ISBN: 9781922179654

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Black Dog Books (Walker Books)

RRP: $16.95

Suitable for ages: 4+

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Children’s Book Review: A Little Election by Danny Katz and Mitch Vane

  1. Oh, thank you so much! I have had so many questions! I’m heading to the library tomorrow for this.

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