Helping Mayor Patty by Fran Manushkin & Laura Zarrin (Illustrator)

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It was released August 1st, 2019, by Capstone Books.

This is the second in Fran Manushkin's new Katie Woo series, Katie Woo's Neighborhood. Right off the start, I've got to tell you, I'm excited by Helping Mayor Patty.

Katie Woo is fashioned after the author's niece who according to Fran Manushkin, doesn’t get into nearly as much trouble as Katie does. When I was working, I purchased many titles in the series so that my beginning Chinese readers would to see them selves in the characters on the shelves in their school library. They circulated well enough that I never felt the need to read and push them. I confess that I only read one Katie Woo chapter book prior to this one.

In this book Katie attends the first council meeting with her Aunt Patty as mayor. At the meeting they are deciding how to spend their tax money. Different people have different suggestions based on what they think their community needs: a fire station, better streetlights, better garbage service. I loved the humorous asides between Katie and her friend Pedro including suggesting that their neighborhood needed more ice cream. Together the two of them realize that their community is full of children playing in the streets and they need a park. Eventually the council votes to support many of the ideas, including a park.

I love the community these beginning chapter books represent. Laura Zarrin's art represents the multicultural world children here in Vancouver, BC, grow up in. I appreciate that readers discover a bit about how municipal governments work. It shows them that they too can become activists who have a say in how to make their communities better places. I will have to check out the rest of the series to see if they make sense in the context of Canadian communities, but for now, I recommend this one.

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