Book Review: Trump For Principal

trump bpw
Trump for Principal: A Children’s Book for American Grownups
, Beth Schaefer (writing) and Hasby Mubarok (art), 50 pgs, Books on a Whim,, $28.67

Given that Trump is drawn to have a golden weasel for a hairpiece, nobody should be surprised as to which way the politics of Beth Schaefer and Hasby Mubarok’s book lean. A scathing political tract dressed up in cartoony colours, Trump for Principal has a lot to say. (It also must be noted: the weasel-hair is uncannily accurate.)

It’s time for Lincoln School’s beloved Principal Moss to retire, and second-grader Jewel can’t wait to meet the replacement. However, when that replacement turns out to be the never-actually-referred-to-by-first-name Donald Trump, the school is in for some major changes. Jewel’s Mexican classmates disappear, for example, and the hallways start to get messy when Principal Trump lays off the janitor. Principal Trump sure seems to sound like he knows what he’s doing, though… doesn’t he?

The star of the show here is Mubarok’s art: bright, whimsical, and spot-on in its skewering caricatures of Trump himself, the illustrations lend a lot to Schaefer’s text. Schaefer’s story is equal parts goofy and sad, and even with lines that are sometimes a touch too on-the-nose—like Jewel talking about no longer singing the Pledge of Allegiance under Principal Trump, saying “We don’t sing anymore, we obey”—it still manages to be an effective mockery of real-life Trump’s bluster and bravado.

Most interestingly, Schaefer left the writing of Trump’s dialogue up to Trump himself: all of Principal Trump’s lines are only slightly modified versions of actual quotes, for which Schaefer provides a reference at the end of the book. It’s a fittingly stark reminder that no matter how much of a circus Trump’s campaign might seem like, we can’t afford to laugh it off. (Kris Bone)