Everyone Gets a Say

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Everyone Gets a Say Book Poster Image
Forest pals show how democracy works in cute story.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows how voting works and how a leader chosen by the voters can help make decisions and solve problems. 

Positive Messages

"When Everyone gets a Say, the very quietest Someone gets the same Say as the very loudest Someone. The very tiniest Someone gets the same Say as the very biggest Someone." "... it doesn't matter if you're the tallest or the shortest or the squishiest or the fluffiest or even the quietest ... In our Forest, every Someone gets a Say." 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The forest creatures have differences of opinion, but they come together once they understand how to have their say and vote for someone to be in charge. Having the smallest, quietist, and most likely to take refuge in his shell, Pudding the snail, be the one to lead the way shows a positive portrayal of an introvert. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jill Twiss' picture book Everyone Gets a Say, illustrated by EG Keller, is a story about how voting works that stars the same cute animal and insect characters introduced in The Someone New. Here, the forest friends decide someone should be in charge, and then have to figure out how to pick that leader. It's a fun, simple story that can help even the youngest readers understand the nature of elections.

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What's the story?

When EVERYONE GETS A SAY starts, the members of the forest community introduced in The Someone New can't agree about what to plant in a sunny patch of land: flowers or trees. Others want to have it be a muddy patch to slide on. Then Toast the butterfly says, "Did you now that bees have Queens? A Queen Bee is a Someone who leads the bees!" "Whoa," says Jitterbug the chipmunk. "Do we need a Someone to bring us together?" But how could someone be their voice when they all have different voices? Should the Someone who's in charge be the tallest, the fastest, the oldest, the fluffiest, or the loudest? Finally, quiet little Pudding the snail spells out how it works in a snail trail on a boulder: "Everyone Gets a Say." "And after everyone gets their Say, we count," says Pudding. "And whichever Someone most of us want to be in charge is in charge." At the end of the book, readers find out who wins the vote. 

Is it any good?

This delightful lesson in democracy shows even the youngest readers how voting and elections work. The art and the characters in Everyone Gets a Say are adorable, the story and voting concept are easy to grasp, and the squabbling among the forest neighbors is utterly relatable. It's an appealing, kid-friendly way to introduce the process of elections.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the process of picking a leader shown in Everyone Gets a Say. What did you learn about how voting works? Does it seem like a fair way to go about picking a leader?

  • Why do the forest friends need a leader? What are they trying to decide about?

  • How can a leader help members of a community settle disagreements and pick a way forward?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and stories about voting

Themes & Topics

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