D is for Democracy: A Citizen's Alphabet

Overview

Despite the banter in today's media, many Americans are still in the dark when it comes to knowing and acting upon their rights and responsibilities as citizens of a democratic society. In refreshingly candid and straight-to-the-point language author Elissa Grodin takes readers of all ages on an A-Z trip through our government's structure, from its earliest beginnings to definitions of basic components and concepts (including immigration and taxation). Engaging, disarming, and frequently thought-provoking artwork...
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Overview

Despite the banter in today's media, many Americans are still in the dark when it comes to knowing and acting upon their rights and responsibilities as citizens of a democratic society. In refreshingly candid and straight-to-the-point language author Elissa Grodin takes readers of all ages on an A-Z trip through our government's structure, from its earliest beginnings to definitions of basic components and concepts (including immigration and taxation). Engaging, disarming, and frequently thought-provoking artwork from illustrator Victor Juhasz emphasizes the magnitude of the subject. From founding fathers, first ladies, and the First Amendment to the presidential oath of office, D is for Democracy details the political processes, parties, and people of democracy, American-style. Elissa D. Grodin grew up in a large family in Kansas City, Missouri, and was fifteen years old when she started to write short stories. While living in London in the late '70s, she wrote for the Times Literary Supplement and New Statesman. After moving to New York, she studied at the School of Visual Arts and met her husband, actor Charles Grodin, while interviewing him for American Film magazine. D is for Democracy is her second children's book with Sleeping Bear Press. She also wrote N is for Nutmeg: A Connecticut Alphabet. Elissa lives with her family in Wilton, Connecticut. A graduate of the Parsons School of Design, Victor Juhasz began illustrating in 1974. His humorous illustrations and caricatures have been commissioned by major magazines, newspapers, advertising agencies, and book publishers both national and international, and his clients include Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and GQ. Victor lives in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With the election nearing, the timely D Is for Democracy: A Citizen's Alphabet by Elissa Grodin (N Is for Nutmeg), illus. by Victor Juhasz, spells out American history letter by letter. Pairing short rhymes with detailed sidebars, pages include "F is for the Founding Fathers" ("who went to a convention./ The U.S. Constitution/ was their wonderful invention") with brief bios on Jefferson, Franklin and others. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Each letter of the alphabet represents a word or phrase pertaining to the American system of government and is part of a quatrain that introduces the word to primary grade students. Along the side of the page is a longer explanation for older students. Some of the words, such as "amendment," "founding fathers," "religious freedom," and "taxes," easily fit the subject matter. The author had to be a bit more creative with the letters X ("marks the spot/ for a meeting one fall/ of the very first Congress...") and Z ("is for Zeitgeist..."). The caricatures lighten the tone of the book with touches of humor that will keep the reader turning the pages. There is an overall cluttered appearance, but when one focuses on each page, the information is clear and easy to handle. This provides a basic introduction of terms and history, and therefore would make a good starting point, or classroom read-aloud, for study or discussion. 2004, Sleeping Bear Press, Ages 7 to 12.
—Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Clever, colorful cartoon illustrations and caricatures help make this book attractive and fun. Beginning with "A is for Amendment," a snappy four-line verse is presented for each letter of the alphabet. Two or three paragraphs, written in small but legible print, appear on colored vertical strips that cover about one-third of each page. The text offers a great deal of information about the history of democracy, the development and processes of American government, and the people who have contributed to our country. Topics range from "Congress" to "Elections" to "Religious freedom" to "Taxes." The final entry is "Zeitgeist," which Grodin describes as "-the feeling or spirit of a certain period of time." After highlighting the remarkable spirits of figures such as Abigail Adams and Deborah Sampson, the author asks, "Who or what will shape the Zeitgeist of your generation?" This final spread has a picture of famous American activists as well as modern young people, all pointing at readers, with the caption, "We want you to get involved" printed in a style reminiscent of the wartime Uncle Sam posters. The concluding pages describe projects and activities that enhance kids' awareness of current events and encourage their participation in social change. A charming and informative volume.-Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585363285
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2007
  • Series: Sleeping Bear Alphabets - History
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 291,751
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.80 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2009

    Wonderful Series

    Another great book to an already great series. I bought this for my 2nd grader. We live in our Nation's Capital & he loves everything about it. He has so many great 'fun facts' & is very educational. I will continue to buy this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2010

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