Wednesday, November 21, 2012

GUEST ~ JULIA DWECK author of Cat or Dog for President

Julia Dwecks writes children’s stories for digital and traditional publication. Her stories span the spectrum of humor, fantasy, and edutainment in rhyme and in prose. Julia’s background in elementary education affords her the opportunity to be in touch with what children want to read about and what makes them giggle. Julia collaborates with some of the leading artists in the world of children’s literature. Julia is also a designer of educational adjuncts for children’s literature, and has worked with such notable publishing houses as Penguin Young Readers.

Julia's website:
Twitter  Julia Dweck Books @juleloves2write

What inspired you to write Cat or Dog for President?

Our nation is not an ordinary one given its ethnically diverse population and rich history that have contributed vitally to the shaping of twenty-first century culture in America. As a nation committed to maintaining freedom and opportunities for all, different talents and abilities have been recognized in all aspects of American life, contributing to our sense of awareness and appreciation of what it means to be an American today.

Disasters like Hurricane Sandy draw us together and serve as a reminder of who we are as a nation and what we represent to the rest of the world. Evidence of selfless acts of kindness, courage, reaching out, and caring for others have been significant in news reports. In sharp contrast to what has been reported, we see presidential candidates, on a daily basis, arguing publicly and divisively about both foreign and domestic issues.

One of the contributions of my story, Cat or Dog for President, is the way in which it draws on the innocent perspective of a child, in an effort to provide young readers with the opportunity to think about the political process and the true meaning of words, such as kindness, compassion, acceptance, and the importance of diversity in all aspects of human life. Unlike the contemptuous nature of some political campaigns, there are no good sides or bad sides in this story. Instead, there is a sensitive side that recognizes the common good and what it means to create a better world for our community and ourselves.  However, because our fervor can be fueled by a political campaign, we can easily forget that we are all in this together. The same type of well meaning intentions can play out in the pet world as well, with a line being drawn in the sand between cat and dog lovers. These events are something that is easily understood by children. 

In my story, cats and dogs are metaphors for democrats and republicans. In this imagined world, young readers will have the opportunity to gain a fundamental understanding of the political process as they read about each party building a platform, orchestrating a campaign, and thinking strategically about the roles they will play while attempting to win the presidency. 

The conflict between cat and dog will be especially exciting for young readers, as each candidate’s behavior escalates with such a feverish pitch that their words eventually turn into noise. In addition to creating interest, my story is meant to remind young readers to take the time to listen and value the unique perspectives of others. It stands to reason that if people treat others with mutual respect, compassion, and dignity, they can expect the same in return.

Author Julia and  Illustrator Bill

My Thoughts

The book starts out with a child contemplating the presidential race. He had a wonderful idea that his cat or dog could run for president.  Dogs and cats love to race. They have totally different views on how to get rid of crime and thieves. This cat and dog were starting to run a dirty campaign playing tricks on each other. Then they came to a purr-fect solution.

What do you think? Who will be the president?  Who would you vote for?

I really like the fun rhyming story from the child's perspective.  Children will enjoy this story and probably try to figure out if their pets might have some good characteristics to run for president. The illustration were depict the story with a darling kitty cat and really cute puppy dog.  It also had all the patriotic colors and background for the campaign.

I wish I had read and posted about this book during the 2012 Presidential Campaign.

This book is a fun way for you children to remember the 2012 Presidential Campaign.

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.


  1. I read this book and loved it! It was so cute! Have a happy Thanksgiving! :)

    Leigh Ann
    MaMa's Book Corner

  2. We love Julia Dweck! Yet another of her fabulous books. We can't get enough and the illustrations are always out of this world. :D


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