‘Amelia Bedelia’s First Vote’ introduction to voting process

AMELIA BEDELIA’S FIRST VOTE. By Herman Parish. Illustrated by Lynne Avril. For ages 4-8. Greenwillow Books. 32 pages. $16.99.

Every day at school is an adventure. When you add in a lesson on voting, things can get exciting. And when Amelia Bedelia is in the mix, silly and unpredictable become the best descriptors.

The excitement of voting day is a little much for Amelia. When asked to deliver a note to the principal, Amelia runs through the halls and crashes into him. While in the nurse’s office, she has a great idea. The principal should let the students vote on the school’s rules. Her class spends an entire period coming up with suggestions, including ice-cream sandwiches for lunch, a class trip to the circus, a fish tank in every room and homework-free Wednesdays. That last one was Amelia’s suggestion.

Thanks to a sick student, we learn about voting, absentee ballots and the swing vote. Since Amelia takes everything at face value, discussions of run-offs and swing votes conjure up plenty of humor and fun for young readers in this nice introduction to voting.

McGeath Freeman reviews children’s books for Lowcountry Parent magazine. To see previous reviews, go to www.lowcountry parent.com.