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Vote For Me! By Ben Clanton

    A hilarious political satire by the creator of the bestselling Narwhal and Jelly series.

    You can’t keep a good book down. Even if it’s a children’s book. Vote For Me! by Ben Clanton is enjoying a resurgence due to his Narwhal and Jelly fame. Vote For Me! was Clanton’s first published book. It was re-issued a year ago. It is so apropos for today’s political divide so Tundra Books decided to reprint the book. The whole notion of the book is silly but rooted in reality at many times. Since the book’s first printing in 2012, politics has grown to new shameful heights and Vote for Me! parodies the opposite polarities in both political parties. There is no right or wrong, and blue or red. They just want your vote.

    Redrawing of “donkey” by Ben Clanton.

    Ben Clanton’s book can be enjoyed by all ages. The art is not in the same vein as Narwhal and Jelly. Ben Clanton was considering redrawing the whole book in his new Narwhal style. I am happy he left the book entact. I truly like the original style. I love the stong lines of the characters of donkey and elephant.

    Hey, you! Yes, you with the dazzling smile! The donkey wants your vote. So does the elephant. And each will do just about anything to win your support. Brag? Sure! Flatter? Absolutely! Exaggerate, name-call, make silly promises and generally act childish? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Soon, the tension mounts, and these two quarrelsome candidates resort to slinging mud (literally) and flinging insults. And what happens when the election results are in? Well, let’s just say the donkey and the elephant are in for a little surprise–and a certain bewhiskered, third-party candidate is in for a first-term!

    “Unfortunately (and I think unsurprisingly), politics and elections haven’t become any cleaner in the past 8 years. If anything, Vote for Me is more relevant now than when it was first published in 2012. The divisiveness, name-calling, and mud-slinging parodied in Vote for Me are pervasive realities that people (including kids!) see and hear on a daily basis. I think a humorous take on this can be a great way to open a dialogue. I have written and illustrated a number of books since I made my debut with Vote for Me, but I think this title remains one of my best (and admittedly most polarizing) read-aloud. My hope is that in another 8 years, Vote for Me will not be as relevant . . . that bullying and untruthful boasts and bravado will be less tolerated. My hope is that young readers will help make that future!”BC

    “But while I didn’t set out with a specific message or takeaway in mind, I certainly wouldn’t mind if the book starts some conversations about elections, voting, citizenship, service, kindness, bullying . . . there are a lot of potential subjects! It isn’t even clear what Donkey and Elephant are running for in the book or why they want your vote. So I think the WHY behind all of it makes for an interesting topic. As to the HOW of them going about it. What is permissible? When are lines crossed? Who decides?”BC

    Tony M.