‘Voting with a Porpoise’ Book Review

'Voting with a Porpoise' Book Review

The time to vote is almost here, with election day in the United States set on the first Tuesday after November 1. I personally have voted in as many elections as possible since I turned 18 and first registered to vote. While not all citizens in America have always had the right to vote, all American citizens who are of voting age currently have the right to vote in any public election in the jurisdiction in which he or she resides. When recently offered the chance to review Voting with a Porpoise written by Russell Glass and Sean Callahan with illustrations by Daniel Howarth in exchange for my honest opinion, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to add a new title to my home library.


Author and voter Russell Glass is currently the CEO of, a company providing instant behavioral health support. He co-authored The Big Data-Driven Business and has founded or held senior positions at five venture-backed technology companies. After leaving LinkedIn in 2017, he joined the board of Rock the Vote and has been focused on using his experience with technology, data science, and narrative/branding tactics to develop novel strategies to increase engagement and turnout among young voters.

Currently residing with his wife and two daughters in Chicago, author and voter Sean Callahan has written and co-authored several books such as The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow, A Wild Father’s Day, and The Big Data-Driven Business. He is a content marketer at LinkedIn. His journalism work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Notre Dame Magazine.

Currently residing deep in the Devon countryside with his wife and two children, illustrator Daniel Howarth began drawing at a very early age and went on to study art at college and then university. He graduated with a degree in illustration in 1994 and then created his own range of greetings cards with his wife and fellow author, Heidi Howarth. The freelance graphic designer and illustrator from his garden studio in Exeter.


Winner of the prestigious Parent and Teacher Choice Award, Voting with a Porpoise tells the story of a pod of dolphins and their porpoise friend, Petey. When the fish that the pod eats disappear due to warning ocean waters, the aquatic mammals must decide whether to stay in their home or move on. Petey suggests holding an election, but Finn, the leader of the dolphins, claims that Petey cannot vote because he is just a porpoise. Finn eventually finds himself in trouble and has a change of heart when Petey comes to his rescue. The colorful picture book teachers about the importance of elections through rhymed text. The first title in the Books with a Porpoise series, the 32-page paperback currently costs $14.99 on Amazon.

Cover of 'Voting with a Porpoise' Inside Pages of 'Voting with a Porpoise' 1

Inside Pages of 'Voting with a Porpoise' 2 Inside Pages of 'Voting with a Porpoise' 3


Voting with a Porpoise arrived at my house just in time for a discussion about voting day. For the past couple of years, I have brought my kiddos with me to the polls when I voted. My oldest daughter was especially excited two years ago when I brought her along with me to vote for the president. While voting is not the only way to bring about change, voting is one step and a right that I do not take lightly. Voting with a Porpoise is a fun picture book told through a rhymed text that shows the power of voting to children. Finn tries to exclude Petey because he is different (voter suppression) but eventually realizes Petey’s voice matters too.

In addition to the positive message in the book, I also enjoy the rhymed text. Not only is rhyme important for language development, but rhymes are simply more fun to read aloud over and over again. My oldest daughter, who reads above a third-grade level at the moment, can easily get through the text on her own. My 4-year-old son and 11-month-old daughter both enjoy listening to me read the book out loud. The pictures are additionally bright and colorful. My son likes to look at the illustrations by himself after I read the story. My infant daughter enjoys pointing at different parts of the pictures as I read the book to her. All in all I consider Voting with a Porpoise a fun and timely book for any child.

Final Verdict

Voting day is fast approaching. If you are searching for a book on the topic of voting for your younger reader, definitely check out Voting with a Porpoise written by Russell Glass and Sean Callahan and illustrated by Daniel Howarth. Told through a rhymed text, the story a pod of dolphins and their porpoise friend Petey who must decide whether to stay put or move from their ocean home. The group decides to hold on an election to answer the question, and the aquatic mammals eventually learn the importance of giving everyone a voice. The illustrations are colorful and help bring the story to life, even for the youngest readers. My kiddos and I give Voting with a Porpoise an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Purchase Voting with a Porpoise on Amazon via my affiliate link.

Image Credits

‘Voting with a Porpoise’ Book Review © 2018 Heather Johnson
Cover of ‘Voting with a Porpoise’ © 2018 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘Voting with a Porpoise’ 1 © 2018 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘Voting with a Porpoise’ 2 © 2018 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘Voting with a Porpoise’ 3 © 2018 Heather Johnson

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