Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women’s Right to Vote by Dean Robbins (review)
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Reviewed by
Robbins, Dean Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women’s Right to Vote; illus. by Nancy Zhang. Knopf, 2016 [40p]
ISBN 978-1-101-93720-4 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R 4-7 yrs

Although women’s rights advocates are well represented within the picture-book collection, suffragist Alice Paul can’t claim as high a page count as the better-known Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Amelia Bloomer. This narrowly focused account explores Paul’s targeted confrontations with President Woodrow Wilson, from the time she upstages his 1914 arrival in Washington (who wouldn’t rather watch a protest parade than a train arrival?) until 1918, when Wilson, with some serious nudging by his daughter Margaret, agrees to put the weight of his office behind women’s right to vote. The lighthearted mixed-media illustrations undercuts the seriousness of the effort somewhat, but Robbins makes clear for a quite young audience through both main narration and endnote that there were very specific obstacles that had to be overcome to extend the vote to women (Congressional action, and the ratification of a Constitutional Amendment), and winning the endorsement of the president was a vital first step. Librarians and educators seeking accessible materials to draw pre-primary children into election year topics will want to consider this.

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