As the 2015 General Election approaches, a Goldsmiths, University of London lecturer has published a fun picture book explaining democracy to young children.
The Election, written by Eleanor Levenson and illustrated by Marek Jagucki, tells the story of two children who live on the same street, whose parents support different political parties and display different posters in their windows. Despite their family differences, the children stay friends.
It has been designed for parents to read to children as young as 3, and for under 7s to enjoy by themselves.
Eleanor Levenson, Lecturer in Journalism in the Department of Media and Communications, comments: “Young people are often criticised as apathetic, and voter turnouts amongst the young is frequently low. Getting children interested in democracy at a very young age will help normalise participation in the process, so that by the time they’re old enough to vote, doing so will seem an obvious choice."
In 2010 just 44 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 voted in Britain’s general election, compared with 65 per cent of people of all ages.
Eleanor adds: “Our book supports no particular party and can be understood internationally wherever free elections are held. It promotes no ideology beyond democracy, participation and friendship. It’s a fun story as well – not too preachy or earnest!”
Eleanor, who is a journalist and the author of two books for adults, hopes that parents, nurseries and primary schools will be able to use the book as an age-appropriate way to explain elections to children.
The Election was funded through a Kickstarter campaign, which raised almost £2,200 from 121 supporters. It is the first book to be published by Fisherton Press, founded in 2013 by Eleanor to create books for children that adults can also enjoy.