[Nonfiction Wednesday] How to Establish One’s Own Republic

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Myra here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2016 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year.

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Since our current reading theme is about the Universal Republic of Childhood, I thought that this nonfiction picturebook on how you can build your own country would be most useful and quite pertinent.

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How To Build Your Own Country

Text by: Valerie Wyatt Illustrations by: Fred Rix
Published by: Citizen Kid, Kids Can Press, 2009 ISBN: 1554533104 (ISBN13: 9781554533107)
Borrowed a copy from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me. 

This is a humorous but highly-detailed nonfiction picturebook that provides very clear steps on how to establish one’s own queendom or one’s own republic: from (1) staking out one’s identity which includes naming one’s own country – naturally, it would have to be catchy – choose from very helpful suggestions as seen below:

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Establishing a country’s identity also involves determining your population (who can you urge to be a citizen of your country) to designing your own flag and choosing a motto, and writing a national anthem. Step (2) involves running the country which includes information about how to set up a government:

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holding elections, writing a constitution, making the laws, serving the citizens, making money, and possible holidays that your country may wish to consider. Apparently, there is such a thing as the International Moment of Frustration Scream Day.

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Step 3 involves Meeting the Neighbors which includes how how one is able to establish relations with other countries and how to keep the peace. I think what makes this book work is how it is able to weave together factual information (see above for readable definitions of theocracy, oligarchy, single-party government, democracy) and very interesting but relevant humorous factoids. I find this to be an indispensable read for those who are teaching social studies as it shows in a very engaging way exactly how a country works by getting children to imagine how they can establish their own.

For teachers who wish to make use of this book in their own classroom, here is a downloadable PDF guide created by Scholastic that you may wish to explore.

  1. This looks exactly right for a social studies project in a class, Myra. What fun. When my class studied The beginnings of U.S. history, we could have used this in various ways, especially checking out its suggestions versus what really happened. Thanks!

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  2. This does look perfect for social studies! I’ve really liked what Kids Can Press has been publishing!

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  3. This book sounds like a good all-around book for teaching about government – without the kids realizing! I think I’d like this book! 🙂

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  4. I’ve read this one and really enjoyed the mix of facts and humor for sharing information that could be considered pretty dry otherwise.

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  5. There’s been a slew of this kind of books recently it seems. I always want to check them out and I think it’ll be a kick to pair them with Lord of the Flies or some sort of dystopian novel.

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