Thanks And Have Fun Running The Country: Kids’ Letters To President Obama: Edited by Jory John, 130 pgs. By Todd Taylor

This is a collection of letters compiled, edited, and published by the 826 National, a non-profit dedicated to instructing kids six to eighteen in creative and expository writing. The older I get, the more I realize how powerless 99.999 percent of people are when dealing with national politics. But it’s like pro sports. I totally understand why these very same people get riled up and cheer, even though they’re not calling the shots and will never be in the realm of offering advice to be taken seriously by those on top. So, fuck it, kids sending wishes and instructions to President Obama is as valid a form of national political interaction as almost anything else. At their core, kids want pretty much the same as adults: comfort, care, security, kindness, and a little bit extra than what they currently have, either for themselves or those who they love. And since most kids don’t have to worry about rent, car insurance, or utility bills, a nice chunk of this book is concerned with foodstuffs and video game consoles transposed over politics. Amir Abdelhadi, age six, sums up the core of the book nicely. “Dear Mr. Obama… I would fill the White House with chocolate and gravy (but not together) and mashed potatoes or maybe fill it with root beer… And I’d have a pizza carpet. After we’d eaten all of our furniture, we’d buy real furniture.” If that’s not a metaphor for “Dear Mr. President, fix shit, enjoy yourself, don’t fuck people over, and get things done,” I don’t know what is. Fun. –Todd (