The President of the Jungle (André Rodrigues, Larissa Ribeiro, Paula Desgualdo & Pedro Markun)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The President of the Jungle, written and illustrated by André Rodrigues, Larissa Ribeiro, Paula Desgualdo, and Pedro Markun, a clever look at the process of democratic elections.

This time, the king of the jungle has gone too far! Lion, deciding he wanted a swimming pool in his front yard, has diverted the river to fill it. His subjects are outraged at his dismissal of their concerns, and begin to wonder: should Lion even BE king of the jungle anymore? Deciding that a new leader is needed, the animals take Owl’s suggestion of holding democratic elections to choose the new president; Snake, Sloth, Monkey, and Lion throw their paws in the ring as candidates. After a period of campaigning, debating, and rallying support, Election Day is here – but who will come out on top?

Wildly informative fun. This Brazilian import (translated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann) manages to do the near-impossible, laying out the framework of modern democratic elections in a way that is accessible and even entertaining for young readers. Complex concepts are simplified without losing the core of their significance to the process; topics covered range from the voting process to debating (“And sometimes they just argued”) to even a candidate being disqualified for vote buying, all in a way that is understandable yet never patronizing. Adding in vibrant, dynamic illustrations, it makes for an engagingly educational read. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ loved the animals and their antics. As the long slog of election season drags on here in the States, this would be a great story to help kids understand the process. Highly recommended, and Baby Bookworm approved!

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