Rock That Vote
“exciting and fun . . . a pitch-perfect image of a classroom election. With this story, young readers will be inspired to rock that vote as soon as they’re given the chance.”
Rock That Vote makes elections exciting and fun. Who wants to vote for mayor or president when you can vote for class pet? Students cheer for different candidates, thrilled by all the possibilities:
“Who wants FINS? Who wants PAWS? Who wants WINGS? Who wants CLAWS?”
Fleming’s energetic text is perfectly matched by Cummin’s vibrant illustrations. Rhyming books are notoriously tricky to pull off, and Fleming manages that feat. Cummin’s art echoes pictures that could be proudly displayed on elementary school walls. Together, they provide a pitch-perfect image of a classroom election.
A long list of animal candidates emerges and there’s even some lobbying as students cheer on their favorites. The voting is coming to a feverish climax when:
“Wait a minute . . .
What’s the matter?
We PINKIE promised. We picked TREE FROG.
I SAW her ballot. She picked HEDGEHOG!”
There’s no admonishment about the secrecy and integrity of the vote, which would make no sense to this picture book’s audience. Instead, the friends learn to “work it through.” It’s a perfect pause in the dramatic build-up, a nod to how elections can also cause disagreements. With that small bump in the road smoothed over, the class nervously waits to hear what their new class pet will be.
The answer is hinted at in the visual tally drawn on the chalkboard. Careful lookers will have already noticed the current class pet—these students are lucky enough to now have two. The happy ending brings the two pets together in a celebration of the power of voting. With this story, young readers will be inspired to rock that vote as soon as they’re given the chance.