Grace Goes To Washington (Kelly DiPucchio)

Hello friends, and happy International Women’s Day! To celebrate, we’re reviewing Grace Goes To Washington, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham, the sequel to one of our all-time favorite titles, Grace For President.

The school trip to Washington, D.C. is coming up, and Grace – the aspiring government leader who already has a successful run for class president under her belt – could not be more excited. For now, however, she must work in congress with her fellow class representatives to decided what to do with the proceeds from the school bake sale. Different contingents propose different needs: new athletic equipment, new band instruments, or new library books? Grace isn’t sure how to vote, as all are worthy causes. The class trip to D.C. provides a break from the debate, and Grace is deeply inspired by what she sees. Yet when she returns to school, all she sees is unrest – the fighting over how the bake sale money should be spent has reached a fever pitch, and friends are arguing on the playground. But in the melee, Grace notices a lonely new student, and inspiration strikes. Perhaps what the school needs most of all is a reminder of what people can accomplish when they work together.

Lovely. Just as Grace challenged the ideas that only men could lead in her previous book, she’s back to encourage teamwork and cooperation over partisanship (doesn’t that sound nice?). And like the previous title worked in a wonderful explanation of how the electoral college functions, this one provides a lesson in the branches of government, the executive and legislative in particular. Pham’s art features diverse characters that are alive with emotion and personality, and the text is earnest and impactful. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ and I were both so pleased to see Grace inspiring other kids to take the lead and do what’s right once again. A worthy sequel, and a reminder for readers big and small that by working together despite our differences, we can achieve great and lasting things. Baby Bookworm approved!

Top 5: Girl Power!

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Hello, friends! This Top 5 is coming to you a day late, as JJ’s daddy graduated from college yesterday (yay!) and we were a bit busy. But not to fret, this one is chock full of awesome books about Girl Power! As the mother of a daughter in a world that can be scary for girls and women, books that celebrate girls and all the things they can do and be are essential. So in no particular order, here are The Baby Bookworm’s Top 5 Girl Power books of 2016:

1.  Not All Princesses Dress In Pink (Jane Yolen & Heidi E.Y. Stemple)

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A great rhyming story about how princesses can come in all shapes, sizes and colors. This book features a multicultural cast of princesses who play sports, get mucky caring for animals, build treehouses together, and never judge one another on how a princess should look or act. Fantastic for showing girls that getting their hands dirty doesn’t mean they can’t be royalty, and the importance of supporting their fellow females.

2. Grace For President (Kelly DiPucchio)

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Yes, another Kelly DiPucchio book! What can I say? She’s one of our favorites, and this book is a very good reason why. The story of a determined little girl who runs for class president, Grace shows that politics isn’t just about popularity – it’s about hard work, dedication, and being the best girl for the job. Grace is a fantastic role model for young readers, and should be a staple of any little girl’s library.

3. My First Book Of Girl Power (DC Comics)

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An awesome board book for little superheroes! Covering some of the best and brightest heroines of the DC Universe, each page describes a female superhero and how she uses her powers (described simply as wisdom, strength, courage, kindness, etc.) to help others. It shows that girls can be powerful and fierce, and is perfect for beginning readers.

4. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark (Debbie Levy)

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A picture book biography of feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this book is a fabulous story of a real-life female superhero. Ginsburg faces discrimination from all sides as she pursues her dream of becoming a lawyer and helping people, and her journey is absolutely inspirational. With phenomenal illustrations and a heaping helping of positive messages for young girls about bravery and self-respect, this book is a slightly longer read that is well worth it.

5. Rosie Revere, Engineer / Ada Twist, Scientist (Andrea Beaty)

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Okay, okay, so we’re sort of cheating here with two books, and technically this makes it a Top 6, but it’s impossible to pick between these two outstanding tales of little girls pursuing their passion for the STEM sciences. Both Rosie and Ada are brilliant ladies with the need to build, explore and understand, through engineering inventions and scientific study respectively. Both face setbacks (though, pleasantly, not related to their gender) and people who don’t understand, but both find the inner drive and courage to let their beautiful minds do great things. Wonderful additions to any little future STEM-er’s library.

That’s it! Our five favorite Girl Power book reviews from 2016! Did we leave any out? Tell us what you think! What were your favorite books about awesome girls this year? And be sure to join us next Saturday (Christmas Eve!) for another Top 5 list. See you tomorrow!

Grace For President (Kelly DiPucchio)

Summer Reading Day 82: Hey everyone! In the spirit of Women’s Equality Day, today we read Grace For President, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. In it, a little girl named Grace learns that there has never been a woman president, and decides that she will run for president someday. Her teacher decides to put together an election for class president, and Grace finds that her opponent is one of the most accomplished and popular boys in school. Grace decides to try her hardest, though: she campaigns, talks to students about what they want and builds a political platform, then does her best to convince everyone that she would be the best “man” for the job.

This was such an awesome book, especially during election time. First, it explains the electoral college and gives a crash course in how candidates campaign for young readers. But what we really loved was the message: girls are just as capable and deserving of holding public office, including the presidency, as boys are, especially if they work hard and earn it. Grace’s opponent realizes early on that the boys in their class have more electoral votes than the girls, and coasts on the presumption that he will win based on this. The books shows that it is Grace’s tireless dedication to the school that ensures her win, and that’s a great message as well, that winning an election cannot just be about popularity, it’s about who is best for the job. Lastly, Grace is a female POC character, and a fantastic fictional representation of both.

The length was great for Baby Bookworm, and she LOVED the simple and colorful animation-style illustrations. Overall, this is a fantastic book, and absolutely Baby Bookworm approved!