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Showing posts with label Paul Czajak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Czajak. Show all posts


Monster Needs Your Vote (2015)

Written by Paul Czajak

Illustrated by Wendy Grieb

Mighty Media

The political season descends upon an unrepentant nation, filled with cynicism and optimism and something farcical in between. My two latest Netflix binge-watches have been House of Cards and The West Wing, and it's striking to me how two shows can be so ornamentally similar yet tonally opposed.

Monster Needs Your Vote has a very grounded approach to the subject of politics for children, At first, Monster merely seems to be running for office just for the heck of it, with his main platform being that summer needs to be longer.

He grabbed a soapbox, went to town, and talked about the seasons.
How summer should be twice as long... and listed several reasons.

Yes, it is a rhyming picture book, though I found the rhymes were thought-out and not too obvious.
Square with flair, for example. Lies and unwise. Pot paired with naught. Good vocabulary.

I thought I had the story figured out, but then the narrative takes a change... the 'Make summer longer!' platform doesn't seem to pan out so well, and added to that, it turns out Monster isn't even actually qualified to run for president in the first place! Who knew? But then he discovers his true political passion, which jives with Czajak's dedication at the front of the book: To all the librarians in the world. Your passion keeps our books alive!

What follows is more a lesson on grass roots politics and how the passions of an individual can make a difference in their community.

The art is fun and colorful. I always love it when large crowds of people are individualized. Painstaking for the artist, I'm sure, but not wasted effort. You get a clear sense of the community in which Monster exists.

Monster made a difference, though he was too young to run.
And Monster's roar in politics had only just begun!

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