An alphabet picture book that presents the ideal of a democratic society.
Seeing its standard ABC formula—“A is for…” etc.—and a rhyming text, readers may be inclined to think that nothing substantial is in the offing. They would be wrong. If ever an alphabet book packed a punch, this one is it. Leaving no effort to empower unturned, the text goes from, well, A to Z with an energetic propulsion that will educate readers to become informed, engaged citizens. Exhortations (“Z is for zeal. Please bring yours!”), nods to bastions of a democratic society (“F for a free press to find facts and share”), and celebrations of diversity (“D is for difference—our strength and our beauty”) share space with history (“S is for suffrage”) and critical thinking (“R is for represent. They work for me!”). They all combine to deliver a timely message of citizen empowerment. This lively activist theme is visually echoed by bold, full-color illustrations depicting a diversity of humans whose skin colors range from white to all shades of brown and include, prominently and frequently, a woman in a hijab. The people in the illustrations often face directly forward, engaging—almost confronting—readers. Many historical figures are illustrated, and the backmatter both names them and encourages readers to learn more on their own. Backmatter also gives suggestions to young readers for contributing to voter empowerment and includes a voting rights timeline.
Forceful and exhilarating.(Informational picture book. 5-10)