Book Review

Back to September 2012 Ed Reporter

Book Review

Woodrow for President: A Tail of Voting, Campaigns, and Elections ($16.95) and Liberty Lee’s Tail of Independence ($16.95), Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes, Little Patriot Press, 2012.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that “wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government.” He believed that children all over the United States ought to have access to a good education, because “No one more sincerely wishes the spread of information among mankind than I do, and none has greater confidence in its effect towards supporting free and good government.”

Sadly, today’s public education system is a far cry from what Jefferson envisioned. Rather than “supporting free and good government,” today’s public school children grow up on a steady diet of progressive propaganda that follows them into the liberal-dominated university system. It has never been more important for parents to introduce their children to good books and to the principles of democracy from an early age.

Peter W. Barnes and his wife, Cheryl Shaw Barnes, have written two new books that are a good place to start. Liberty Lee’s Tail of Independence tells the story of a mouse who witnessed the Revolutionary War. The mouse, Liberty Lee, will appeal to very young children as he describes the events and players that led up to a 4th of July celebration he attends with his friend Thomas Jefferson. Children will be fascinated and entertained by this first introduction to the history of the nation they call home – and they will love the charming illustrations.

In Woodrow for President, children learn about our political system by watching a mouse run for president from the state of “Moussouri.” This book is best for very young children, who will find the introduction helpful when they learn more about democracy when they are older. Woodrow offers a good introduction to the campaign process, political parties, voting, primaries, national conventions, the electoral college, debates, and the general election. Children will enjoy searching for the hidden “secret service mouse” hidden in each picture, and the book is written with a rhyme scheme that will help them memorize key explanations easily.

Both books include resources for parents and teachers, with further simple explanations of the concepts introduced in each story, and ideas for teaching those concepts in more detail. Woodrow for President, for example, includes a “contract to vote” at the end of the book. Parents and children are encouraged to sign the contract together, stating that the adults will vote at the proper time, and that the children will vote when they are of age.