Reviews for See How They Run : Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White House

Kirkus Reviews 2008 April #2
Stating that "democracy is a messy business and it's our job to sort it out," Goodman takes a simplified route through the electoral process in this country, with special reference to presidential elections. Her anecdotal history starts with ancient Athens, closes with ways that readers too young to vote (in national elections, at least) can become politically involved and in between covers styles of campaigning, vice presidents, assassinations, dirty tricks, the Electoral College, hanging chads and related topics. Smith's cartoon illustrations crank up the presentation's light tone with comical views of candidates and voters, along with free-association riffs on donkeys vs. elephants, Congress, campaign financing and more. All in all, the team that produced The Truth About Poop (2007) and Gee Whiz! All About Pee (2006) treat their timely and (more or less) new topic with the same engaging informality. Readers will come away a little more informed about how elections work, and perhaps motivated to make their own voices heard. (resource list, index) (Nonfiction. 9-11) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 June

Gr 4-7-- A lighthearted, fact-filled look at elections in the United States. The engaging conversational narrative and funny cartoons lend appealing irreverence to a topic that can sometimes seem too dry and serious. At the same time, the book covers a lot of ground and introduces concepts and personalities in ways that readers will understand and remember. Coverage includes the electoral college, campaigning, and many other aspects of elections, noting the flaws and absurdities in our system along with the many positive aspects. The text moves deftly back and forth through time within each subject, offering useful and varied historical examples. A section on inaugurations, for example, makes reference to William Henry Harrison's two-hour speech, Bill Clinton's night of dancing, and Andrew Jackson's rowdy White House party. "The Campaign Road" features several amusing instances of varied practices while also providing a cohesive summary of the topic's relevance. Plentiful illustrations utilize humor to demonstrate content, as in the depiction of a man with elongated arms straddling a state line and voting in two states at once. Even the photographs of presidents feature an amusing caption or word balloon. The final chapter addresses the role of kids, offering suggestions for involvement that range from writing letters to "bugging your parents." Informative, entertaining, and timely, this is a fine example of how well-conceived humor can make a potentially complicated topic not only more appealing, but also more comprehensible and even inspiring.--Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR

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