January 23, 2020


The President of the Jungle by AndrĂ© Rodrigues, Larissa Ribeiro, Paula Desgualdo, and Pedro Markun is a lively primer on electoral democracy.

As King of the Jungle, Lion decides to reroute the cool fresh water from the nearby river to flow into his area so he can have a swimming pool. The other animals, less than enthused about this abuse of power, decide to stand up for themselves. After a fruitless protest, during which the Lion essentially ignores them, they decide to hold a democratic election to get down to brass tacks and discuss the issues at hand. With bolded key terms throughout (that are never pedantic), there's a nice glossary in the back with definitions. 

If the illustrations look heavily layered it's because they are. Rodrigues and Ribeiro––who earned top billing on the cover––created this zoo with hundreds of paper cutouts, pencil, charcoal, and digital coloring. With a muted white and gray background, each animal stands out not only from the background but from its colorful, equally expressive friends. And the use of charcoal to add fur and texture is phenomenal. Just look at the lion's mane! There are some great middle spreads, too, with election posters that add even more colorful into this vibrant world.

The President of the Jungle published earlier this month from Nancy Paulsen Books.

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