PPBF: Ballots for Belva PLUS THE WINNER!

Life has gotten very busy. The WOW (Week of Writing) Retreat is only one month away. I’m so excited to see dear friends again, like Kristen Fulton, the fearless leader and founder of WOW, and connect with critique partners and other kid lit friends, many whom I’ve never met in person. I’ll also be able to hug my incredible agent, Essie White…she is one of the faculty mentors. I’ve been working feverishly on getting my manuscripts polished. Since many of them are nonfiction picture books, my library has been inundated with requests from me for mentor texts. So it was almost impossible to pick just one story for Perfect Picture Book Friday. I finally decided on one that was written back in 2008 by one of the shining lights in this kid lit community, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. With the Presidential election just around the corner, I thought it was a perfect choice.

Oh…and when you finish with the picture book review, don’t forget to keep scrolling down…because today we announce the WINNER of a brand new copy of The Hole Story of the Doughnut.

ballots for belva

Ballots for Belva

Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Illustrated by Courtney A. Martin

Publisher: Abrams (2008)

Ages: 5-9

Themes: Determination, courage, women’s rights, Presidential election


From Amazon:

“In 1884, when men were the only people allowed to vote in national elections, Belva Lockwood took a bold but legal step: She ran for president! Though her campaign was difficult, Belva never wavered in her commitment to equality, earning the respect of many fellow citizens. A little-known but richly deserving American historical figure, Belva is an inspiration for modern-day readers.”


Opening Lines:

“When Belva Lockwood was ten years old, she read that, with a little bit of faith, anyone could move a mountain.”


Why I like this book:

  • I had no idea that a woman ran for President back in the 1884! The text is intensely engaging…and filled with facts that kids need to know about how things were years ago…and how one person can make a difference.
  • The illustrations are incredible! The artist has captured facial expressions of emotion perfectly!
  • Parents and teachers can use this story as a springboard for discussion about determination, standing up for what we believe in, and the rights of others. It’s an especially valuable book because the Presidential election will be in November…this could launch many discussions in elementary classrooms about election procedures.


Logo final BB2 1 inch 300dpi



This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.



A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed The Hole Story of the Doughnut. Then, on Will Write for Cookies, we turned the spotlight on Pat Miller, the author of that fabulous nonfiction picture book. And I promised there would be a giveaway.


You won a brand new copy of The Hole Story of the Doughnut!

Cover of Hole Story

Please email me at viviankirkfield@gmail.com or PM me on Facebook.

We had a wonderful turnout of comments…many of you shared your suggestions for future nonfiction picture books you wanted to see. Here are some of the ideas:

  1. Origin of buttons
  2. Chocolate
  3. Urban Beekeeping
  4. Post-it notes
  5. Henrietta Lackes
  6. Child artist
  7. Pearl divers
  8. Quirky brilliant people who weren’t appreciated in their time
  9. Nathan’s hot dog eating contest

There were lots more…but you get the idea. There are so many awesome people and events to write about…let’s get busy!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend…here in New England, it is time to plant the flowers!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on June 3, 2016, in Giveaway, Perfect Pictture Book Friday, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Good morning, my friend. Wow is definitely upon us…can’t wait. Polish, polish, polish, that ‘s the name of today’s game….after the kindergarten field trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for introducing me to this great book, Vivian. I had no idea, either! Have a wonderful time at WOW, and congrats to WAENGEL2002.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had no idea a woman ran for president in the 1880s, either! Thanks for sharing BALLOTS FOR BELVA, Vivian. I will definitely check it out.


  4. Wow, I had no idea that a woman ran for President back in1884 either! Very interesting! I will check it out. Enjoy your time with friends 🙂


  5. books4learning

    I am not familiar at all with this historic woman or event. Fortunately, my library has a copy. Thanks!


  6. I wish I had known about the writing retreat earlier ~ UGH! End of the year teacher stuff is BONKERS!!!!!! Next time 🙂


  7. What a great choice. I didn’t know a woman ran for president in 1884. They couldn’t even vote. Can’t wait to read the book.


  8. Love your choice Vivian. Gosh didn’t realise they could run for president way back then. 🙂


  9. My girls would LOVE this book! Pinning for when we’re back in the US. Thanks so much for sharing this post at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week! Great to have you!


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