Book of the Week: Woodrow for President

Woodrow for President by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes is the perfect picture book to help you teach your children about the electoral process in a fun and educational way. The story is about Woodrow G. Washingtail who is the governor of Moussouri and he is running for President of the United States of America.  Can you guess what animal ‘ol Woodrow might be? If you guessed a mouse – you would be correct!  The story is cleverly written to include the process of running a campaign and has a great illustration of the National Headquarters with all of his volunteers helping to have him elected as President. It explains what a polical party is, what are politicians, and even describes the start of America’s long political party history.

I found the story easy to follow and my six-year old really enjoyed the story and was asking a ton of questions about what it means to run a campaign and  the different political parties.  Ms. Barnes does a wonderful job at illustrating the book and each page is rich with colors and things to look at.  The page that talks about Election Day is quite detailed oriented and will surely keep your child engaged.  The author, Peter Barnes, is a journalist and broadcaster who reports on public policy issues in Washington, D.C. and this comes through in his storytelling.  He makes it easy to follow and understand.  You will find this cute story to be a nice addition to your library!

I had a chance to speak to Ms. Barnes about Woodrow for President and asked her to share some of her favorite moments with us.

 Tell us why you decided to write this book about the electoral process?

 My husband Peter and I first wrote the book, Woodrow, the White House Mouse and when I went to elementary schools and did author visits the children kept asking me all these questions about the how’s and the when’s and the what’s and the why’s about how people become president. Half the time I didn’t even know the answer! So I decided to study up and ask lots of inside Washington folks all the questions kids wanted answers to…and voila! Woodrow for President was born!

 What do you hope that children and their parents take away from the book?

To me, Woodrow for President has some of the most inspirational verse we have ever written. We hope that children will read this book with their parents or teachers or even all by themselves and learn that it takes hard work in school, participating in your community,  helping others less fortunate, etc., to become a good citizen. Hopefully, our kids will learn from the mistakes of our current politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, to get along, compromise, and work for the people that elected them.

 What has been one of best moments for you as an author and as an illustrator?

Going all over the country and meeting people who tell me that they have read and appreciate the work we do with our books. I have met 5 US Presidents over the years and that is always a thrill! I work in a building that looks out onto the US Capitol grounds and I get to gaze at the Capitol dome almost everyday. I still get goosebumps! Over the years I have gone to the White House with just one Secret Service guide and walk through all the rooms on the ground and first floor with no one else around. Those are amazing memories! I hope I get to go again soon.

 What new books do you have in the works?

We just published Liberty Lee’s Tail of Independence . I am very proud of this book because it really teaches kids what is in the Declaration of Independence. I also illustrated a Revolutionary War battle page that gives the reader a COMPLETE overview of ALL the major battles. It took me 3 weeks to do the illustration and I think parents and teachers will really appreciate it and, who knows, they just might learn a new fact or two! My next book will be Madison Mouse: A Tail of the US Constitution. I have to sit myself down for 6 months and do the illustrations. I get very lonely so I am giving myself a break for a while!

Thank you Cheryl and Peter Barnes for sharing your story with us!

Great news!  They have provided us with two copies of Woodrow for President!  Make sure to enter for a chance to win this fun book at our Woodrow for President Giveaway.

To read more about Woodrow for President go to:


  1. These are such fun books! Thanks for giving us a look behind the scenes!

  2. I’m sure the books would teach even adults a thing or two about the election process!

    I really like the author’s answer to what she hopes kids will take away from the book. I’m glad you were able to interview her!

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