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Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 9 to 12.
Insets with definitions of political vocabulary and a variety of informational factoids are presented alongside explanations of the development of political parties in the U.S. The early history of the debates over how the newly formed United States should be governed influenced the development of various factions that grew into two basic political thought systems that became the foundation of the two party system that we know today. Other parties have come and gone, but usually the two "major parties compete to run the government." Using large-headed cartoon characters to represent the people and the political figures, this light approach will appeal to a variety of readers who need to understand how the party system evolved and how it influences who ultimately runs the country. Media coverage and its influence are discussed, as is voting rights, campaigns, primaries, and the voting process (including various methods of actually casting ballots). The humorous approach makes this title in the Graphic Library's "Cartoon-Nation presents" series an interesting way to expose students to the background of the "donkeys" and "elephants" of politics. Political cartoons have had a huge impact on the development of how the political parties are viewed, even to the animals that have come to represent each party. The back matter includes a time line, a glossary, a FactHound web site, a "read more" section, and an index. Reviewer: Sheilah Egan