The President of the Jungle

André Rodrigues et al., trans. from the Portuguese by Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-9848-1474-6
When Lion, the King of the Jungle, reroutes the river to create a swimming pool at his house, his subjects promptly launch a demonstration (“#OCCUPYTHEJUNGLE”). But the King is unmoved, so Owl advocates for a new form of government: democracy. After a brief how-to, election rules are drawn up (“Candidates cannot eat their opponents”), and Monkey, Sloth, and Snake announce their candidacies and platforms, with Lion quickly following suit. Debates and mudslinging ensue until Sloth wins and gives a gracious speech promising a coalition “to help us make the jungle a great place for every animal”—while the final page reminds readers that dissatisfied voters will have their say again in a year. Originally published in Brazil (the creators are artists and activists), this savvy, compellingly instructive book uses bright, giddy images created from digitized cut paper and charcoal to embrace the circus-like atmosphere of elections. Ages 5–8. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/21/2019
Release date: 01/07/2020
Genre: Children's
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