Books for young readers…and future leaders



By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Courtney Dawson

“A vote is a powerful thing – powerful enough to change the world!”


Callie knows there’s a presidential election coming up. Her class is having an election, too, about an issue that affects them all–the class field trip! She’s about to witness first-hand what a difference a vote can make – even a single vote – and along the way will find out about the election process and why people have fought for the right to vote throughout history. A great kids-eye look at the power of the vote.


Awards and Honors

  • Starred review, School Library Journal
  • Starred review, Youth Services Book Reviews
  • Named an Apple Books Official “Fall’s Most Anticipated”
  • Featured on the Atlanta Parent list of books to help kids “navigate the complex world of politics”
  • Featured on the Colours of Us ( “18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Voting and Elections”


“This book helps children make the leap from abstract concept to concrete understanding of the importance of these decisions and why voting matters… an inspiring read.” —STARRED REVIEW, School Library Journal

“This is the perfect book for helping young children understand the election process in our country.” —STARRED REVIEW, Youth Services Book Review

“A galvanizing read for children interested in politics or parents who hope to instill such interests.”—Publishers Weekly


For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at

If I Were President

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan

IF I WERE PRESIDENT is a classic Presidents’ Day book—and a fun and inspiring read for any child who aspires to the highest office in the land!

Imagine living in the White House, a mansion where you wouldn’t have to leave home to go bowling or see a movie! Imagine a chef to cook anything you like. “Two desserts tonight, Madam President. No problem!”

If you were president, you would work in the Oval Office, get help making decisions from people in your cabinet, and be in charge of the armed forces. The Secret Service would follow you everywhere, and Air Force One would carry you on trips, sometimes to other nations.

A multicultural cast of children imagines what it would be like to be president. Readers will be so caught up in the fun they won’t realize that the book is also an ingenious teaching device and discussion starter. A note about the presidency accompanies the story.

Awards and Honors

  • Selected by Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics for the 2017 Teach A Girl To Lead project with 2000 copies distributed to each woman in Congress, the women serving in all state legislatures and four women governors. Many of these leaders shared the book with children in their states or districts.
  • Society of School Librarians International Honor Book, Social Studies
  • IRA Los Angeles’ 100 Best Books
  • Featured in Woman’s Day Kids’ Day Section “Great American Reads”
  • Featured for Presidents’ Day on WGN-TV Bozo Show
  • Selected for Chicago Public Schools Literacy Enrichment Program, with 3500 books distributed to 127 schools
  • Selected as a Boston Public Schools Close Reading lesson text
  • Has been featured at the gift/museum shops of the White House Historical Association, the Mount Rushmore History Association and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
  • Featured in Books Kids Will Sit Still For: A Read-Aloud Guide (Vol. 3) by Judy Freeman (Libraries Unlimited)


“This easy picture book provides a nice introduction to the presidency for primary-grade children.”—Booklist

“Beginning with campaign speeches and posters, six children of varied racial backgrounds take turns posing as the president while providing information about the rewards and responsibilities of the position.”—School Library Journal

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at

If I Ran for President

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by Lynne Avril

The critically acclaimed title IF I RAN FOR PRESIDENT is the perfect choice to help readers learn about elections, celebrate Presidents’ Day or prepare for a visit to our national presidential landmarks.

Imagine starring in commercials and traveling in your own campaign bus! Or seeing your face on bumper stickers and T-shirts!

If you ran for president, you would get to do these and other fun things, but you would also have to do a lot of hard work. You would study the nation’s problems, tell the American people about your platform, select a running mate, and debate your opponents on live television. Finally, in November, Election Day would arrive. You would keep your fingers crossed and wait for the results—will you be the next president of the United States?

A multicultural cast of children imagines what it would be like to run for president. The entertaining yet informative text is a good conversation starter for discussions on the election process. A note about this process accompanies the story. The author, Catherine Stier, is no stranger to politics—her previous book, If I Were President looked at the various responsibilities of the president. Lynne Avril’s cheerful illustrations perfectly complement the lively text.

Awards and Honors

  • Catherine Stier received an invitation to the Mount Rushmore bookstore for a book signing event for If I Ran for President and If I Were President
  • Scholastic Lucky Book Club selection
  • National Braille Press Children’s Book Club Selection
  • Library Media Connection Editor’s Choice Award
  • R.E.A.L. Men Read Reading List/Atlanta Public Schools
  • Featured in Best Books for Children: Preschool Through Grade 6 (9th Edition) by Catherine Barr and John T. Gillespie (Libraries Unlimited)


“Children will come away with a better understanding of the complex election process, and, just maybe, an enduring respect for it.”—Booklist

“This title is a step above the usual election books, both in content and entertainment value…Libraries will want this kid-friendly title.”—School Library Journal

“This would be an outstanding tool for teachers to use as a starting point for classroom discussion.”—Library Media Connection

“This book would make an excellent contribution to a social studies class leading to further discussion of the democratic process.”—Children’s Literature

Stier enthusiastically describes the processes of running for and electing a president in the United States…the first person text imagines six kids on the campaign trail, from declaring candidacy to moving into the White House.”—The Horn Book Guide

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at

Today on Election Day

By Catherine Stier
Illustrated by David Leonard

TODAY ON ELECTION DAY celebrates the Democratic process with a lively classroom of “Future Voters!”

The school gym is a polling place, and Bailey, Ren, David, Meg, Aiden, and Isabella know all about Election Day and voting! Bailey helped her Aunt Julia run for a seat on the city council. Aiden goes with his grandpa to vote. David’s brother Jake will be voting for the first time. Meg talks about how years ago, some citizens were not permitted to vote. A perfect picture book for future voters of America, Today on Election Day will simultaneously entertain and educate.


“A proudly buoyant tour of Election Day in the U.S.A.”—Kirkus Reviews

“…a welcome purchase, especially in an election year”—School Library Journal

“Election vocabulary is woven throughout the story in a natural way…it offers an effective way to introduce elections to younger students”—Library Media Connection

For more journal reviews, please visit the Albert Whitman & Company website at

The Story of These Books

I am proud to be the author of a trio of presidential/election themed books.  This is how they came to be.

Years ago as a young mom, I worked at a YMCA preschool program.  For Presidents’ Day, I sought a timely book to read to my class – but could not find one that explained the presidency for very young audiences.  And so I wrote one.

Published in 1999, IF I WERE PRESIDENT (Albert Whitman & Company, illustrated by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan) won awards, was included in many classroom lesson plans and was even featured on the WGN-TV Bozo Show.

After its publication, I began visiting schools with an interactive “If I Were President” program.  I found that the students and I had lots of fun not only talking about the job of the president, but also exploring what it would be like to run for president – so that became the subject of a new book, IF I RAN FOR PRESIDENT (Albert Whitman & Company, illustrated by Lynne Avril).

Following the publication of these two books, I was invited to conduct a books signing at Mount Rushmore National Memorial for their Independence Day celebration.  More than 20,000 people visited the park that day, I met people from all over the country, and at night there was an amazing fireworks display. I also conducted a book signing for these titles at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

The last book in this trio came about in a different way. The school my children attended served as a polling place, a place where citizens come to vote on Election Day, and I volunteered at a San Antonio Library branch where early voting took place.  I wondered what the kids at schools and libraries thought as they saw the election signs, and the people streaming in to vote.  I decided to write TODAY ON ELECTION DAY (Albert Whitman & Company, illustrated by David Leonard) to explain a bit about voting and all that happens on Election Day in the United States.

A painting of my own kids, reading my first book Watercolor portrait by San Antonio Artist Margi Fisher

A painting of my own kids, reading my first book. Watercolor portrait by San Antonio Artist Margi Fisher.


Book signing at Mount Rushmore

Book signing at Mount Rushmore