Duck for President


Duck for President

Title: Duck for Presidentduck for president

Author: Doreen Cronin

Illustrator: Betsy Lewin

Publisher and Year: Simon and Schuster, Scholastic, 2004

Themes: Humor, Politics, Elections

Pages: 37

Genre: humorous fiction

Descriptive Annotation: Clever Duck finds himself frustrated with the amount of work he is required to do on Farmer Brown’s farm, so he decides to hold an election to determine whether Farmer Brown or Duck should be in charge of the farm.  Not surprisingly, Duck wins the barnyard election (by 21 to 6).  Duck soon discovers that running a farm is more difficult than he thought, so he sets his sights on greater things–the governor’s office and eventually the presidency.  This amusing book features simple text, but the illustrations add an important layer to the story and its humorous appeal.  Illustrations are watercolors.

Students will benefit from at least a cursory understanding of elections and the structure of our government. Younger students might need some understanding of such offices as mayor, governor, and president. Other discussion and pre-reading topics include talking about: how we share work; political history such as Reagan’s “A Kinder, Gentler Nation” slogan; Clinton playing saxophone on a late night show; images of Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis; and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (and other presidential quotes).

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This text is obviously about the American system of government and so does not represent any other nations. That said, there is some humorous diversity represented by various animals, but all humans appear to be White. Some regional diversity is implied as Duck campaigns around the country. There appears to be no linguistic diversity beyond the references to historic events and speeches.

Interdisciplinary Connections: This book fits perfectly with social science content related to government in general and elections in particular. Older students would benefit from some background in the electoral college. This book can also be used to discuss democracy and perhaps as a springboard for classroom campaigns or for establishing classroom expectations.

Other Information: This book could also lead to a discussion about how we resolve conflicts in the classroom. Plan to spend extra time letting students study the illustrations to help them “get” the visual jokes and appreciate the visual humor.

Younger children might enjoy voting for what to have for a snack (with majority winning). If students enjoy this book, look for other Duck books by the same author and illustrator (Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type or Giggle, Giggle, Quack.)

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