MAX FOR PRESIDENT

Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Author . Knopf $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-82428-9

Who will win the election? Both Max and Kelly engage in a clean campaign for class president. But only one of them will "have the honor of serving our school," as their teacher puts it. For student candidates of all ages, an election often comes down to a referendum on their likability. But Krosoczka (Baghead ) eschews the popularity issues in favor of an overview of the process. His candidates make signs and each gives a speech. Max promises, "I will work to have better indoor recesses and more exciting games in the game room!" while Kelly says, "Vote for me and we will have more exciting morning announcements and better school lunches." Nothing in the text or pictures suggests why one candidate would be more viable than the other (nor do readers see other students interacting with the candidates); it's only when Max loses by two votes that Krosoczka conveys the emotional stakes. Kelly flashes a brilliant smile and pumps her fists in the air, while Max looks small and alone at his desk, clutching his forehead. But soon Kelly appoints him vice-president, and the two combine forces to realize both of their campaign promises. Older children may find the book a bit naïve, but this is a clear, simple introduction for those facing their first election. Ages 4-8. (July)

Reviewed on: 08/02/2004
Release date: 07/01/2004
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