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Grace for president
2008
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Author Notes
Kelly DiPucchio has written several children's picture books including Bed Hogs, Liberty's Journey , and Mrs. McBloom, Clean Up Your Classroom! . A graduate of Michigan State University, Kelly lives in southern Michigan with her husband and three children.<br> <br> LeUyen Pham has been illustrating picture books since leaving her job as a layout artist at Dreamworks. Her illustrations have appeared at the New York Society of Illustrators shows every year since 2000. Her first book, Can You Do This, Old Badger? by Eve Bunting, was chosen as an ABA Pick of the Lists and a Book-of-the-Month Club Selection, and was awarded an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, as well. Her second book was selected as one of Child magazine's Best Books of the Year. Her other books include Hanukkah, Shmanukkah, by Esme Raji Codell and Big Sister, Little Sister which she both wrote and illustrated. She lives with her husband in San Francisco. She is also illustrating FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY by Julianne Moore, with Bloomsbury, which is a big fall 07 title for that publisher and will raise Uyen's profile tremendously in time for the release of this book.
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Grace (Girl), Student, African American, Running for president in her school's mock election
Genre
Fiction
Juvenile
Political
Topics
Girls
School
Elections
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

DiPucchio (Mrs. McBloom, Clean Up Your Classroom!) delivers a lively and well-timed lesson on the electoral system. Grace, dismayed to learn there has never been a female U.S. president, announces she'd like to hold that office someday. Calling it a "star-spangled idea," the teacher organizes an election, with each student representing a different state and casting its allotted number of electoral votes. Depicted with comical hyperbole in Pham's (Freckleface Strawberry) characteristic style, Grace's superstar opponent is smart, popular, athletic Thomas. Shrewdly calculating that the boys hold more electoral votes than the girls, Thomas studies and plays soccer while Grace diligently delivers speeches, offers free cupcakes, holds rallies and even begins to fulfill her campaign promises (the text doesn't comment on the other obvious difference: Thomas is white and Grace is a child of color). Not surprisingly, a boy casts the winning ballot for Grace, proclaiming her "the best person for the job." High-spirited images include Grace posing as Lady Liberty, speaking from the top of a bunting-draped jungle gym and kissing a baby. (The don't-miss-it picture is at the beginning, of kids looking at a poster containing the presidents' portraits, all of them rendered to an almost photographic likeness by Pham). An endnote clarifies the workings of the Electoral College. Ages 5-9. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

  School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-When her teacher displays a poster of all the American presidents, Grace asks with alarm, "Where are the girls?" Dismayed to learn that there have been no women, she announces that she will run for president someday. Mrs. Barrington proposes that she practice by running for president of the elementary school, and the race is on. Her formidable opponent is Thomas Cobb, spelling-bee champion, science-fair winner, and soccer-team captain. DiPucchio succeeds at the daunting task of explaining the Electoral College to young children as the other students are randomly assigned to represent states and their corresponding number of delegates. The illustrations of Grace capture a sense of boundless enthusiasm. Her loose dreadlocks bouncing, she seems to almost jump from the page as she throws herself into the campaign. Grace is African American, but race is never discussed as the delegates quickly begin dividing themselves along gender lines. Oddly enough for a book about equality, there are a few stereotypes present. Grace gives away cupcakes while Thomas studies his science. At the mock convention, the delegates line up to cast their votes. The boy representing Alaska looks like an Eskimo dressed in a hooded fur coat while the girl from Arizona wears a feathered headdress. The story shows how difficult an election campaign can be, as Grace tries to be everywhere and do everything possible to win support. Thought-provoking and timely, this book will be useful in discussing both the positive and negative aspects of United States election campaigns.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

DiPucchio and Pham are game gals. Explaining the electoral system to adults isn't easy, but  they make it understandable to kids. When Mrs. Barrington shows her class pictures of the presidents, energetic African American Grace asks, Where are the girls? Responding to Grace's shock, Mrs. Barrington arranges for an election in which Grace runs against Tom, with each of the remaining students in the multiethnic class representing a state. It looks like popular Tom will win since the boys have the most electoral votes, so Tom just sits back while Grace advances campaign promises. When the votes are counted, Sam, representing Wyoming (where the first woman was elected to the House), throws the winning votes to Grace, because he thought she was the best person for the job.   The attractive paint-and-collage art captures the excitement of the race in layouts as diverse as the kids. However, there's one big problem in the author's note, which explains why individuals should vote even if they are not electing directly: It's those individual votes from regular people that add up to become the popular vote in each state. The concept of larger versus smaller states isn't really explained, leaving the idea that the winner of the popular vote will be president. As Al Gore knows, that's not true.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2008 Booklist

  Horn Book Review

Where are the girls?" asks Grace in regard to a poster of the U.S. presidents. Grace decides she wants to be president, so her teacher sets up an election. Unfortunately, Grace's popular opponent has the numbers on his side. Pham's spirited illustrations showing students of different ethnicities are a good match for the lively text. An author's note explains the electoral college. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

  Kirkus Review

When Mrs. Barrington rolls out a poster displaying all the U.S. presidents' portraits, the observing and bold Grace Campbell asks, "Where are the GIRLS?" Learning from her teacher that a female head of state is yet to be, Grace decides she will become the first woman president--of her grade, that is. Running against her rival Thomas Cobb in Mr. Waller's class proves to be more challenging than anticipated. Through the process, Grace campaigns diligently, creates platforms and learns how the Electoral College operates. DiPucchio demonstrates the intricacies of the process with each boy and girl representing one of the states and their corresponding electoral votes. Creating a bit of fait-accompli drama, she has readers assume the favored will be "the best man for the job" Thomas Cobb, since all the boys hold a few more electoral votes than the girls. But true democracy prevails when the last state of Wyoming casts its three remaining votes for "the best person" and Grace is declared the winner. Pham's deeply toned opaque and textured paintings of a multicultural group of children bring out the various details of each phase of a campaign. A timely, well-constructed explanation brought down to a level anyone can comprehend. (author's note) (Picture book. 7-10) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
"Where are the girls?"When Grace's teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And sheimmediately starts off her political career as a candidatethe school's mock election. But soon, she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the "best man for the job"&mdashand seems to havecaptured all the male votes&mdashwhile Grace concentrates on being the best person .In this timely story, author Kelly DiPucchio not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system, but also teaches them the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought&mdashand offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.
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