If you're going to a march, you are going to want a sign.
A recycled pizza box works well.
This is the opening to If You're Going to a March by Martha Freeman and Violet Kim. I confess, I thought that was kind of a strange start. "Ew, a greasy pizza box?" is what came to mind. I guess the lid would be clean enough. But, I loved the illustrations. Here's the first spread, showing children preparing their signs for a march:
The author continues with other advice. Check the weather so you'll know to dress appropriately and bring an umbrella or sunscreen. Wear sturdy, comfy shoes, and carry as little as you can, but bring water and snacks. Be prepared for a long walk (take public transport, if possible).
There will be speeches. This part might be boring, the book warns. I admit that made me laugh. The author mentions that there may be music and it's fine to have fun dancing. But, then comes the march. You'll need to double-knot your shoes so you don't trip, be careful not to get lost but know your address and phone number, ask someone to hold your sign if you have to go to the restroom (with an illustration showing porta-potties). You should know that police officers are there to keep people safe and reporters might ask you questions. You might end up chanting with other marchers. All great advice and nicely laid out.
Highly recommended - I was going to recommend this book for a particular audience (kids who plan to go on a march) but it occurred to me that not everyone will end up going to a march but some children may be curious what's involved when they see video footage of people marching on TV. So, I'm not going to keep the recommendation as narrow as I originally intended.
Instead, I will say that I think If You're Going to a March offers excellent advice and is a particularly interesting new children's title because it's unique. I've never seen a book about participating in a march, before, although protests have been around for ages and certainly there have been children who participated, in the past. While the illustrations are not done in a favorite style, I found the detail nicely done and the steps to preparing for a march and being in one clearly illustrated so that even a non-reader who might end up on a parent's shoulders or riding in a wagon rather than marching and making a sign can get a great idea of what he or she is about to experience.
There's an afterword in which the author talks about the importance of "we the people" telling the government what we want, through voting, running for office, marching and/or protesting. Past reasons for protests are mentioned and the words are ringed by illustrations showing reasons people have marched in the past, which gives the book a nice, well-rounded feel.
If You're Going to a March is #3 for Children's Week. If I have time, I'll write one more review, today. If not, Children's Week will continue tomorrow.
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