Gandhi book
#1
Gandhi
Written by Alice B. McGinty and illustrated by Thomas Gonzales
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Mohandas Gandhi’s 24-day March to the Sea, from March 12 to April 5, 1930, was a pivotal moment in India’s quest to become an independent country no longer ruled by Great Britain. With over 70 marchers, Gandhi walked from his hometown near Ahmedabab to the sea coast by the village of Dandi. The march was a non-violent means to protest the taxes that Great Britain had imposed on salt — not the salt that the Indians could get from the sea, but the salt that Great Britain forced them to buy. Gandhi believed that peaceful protests were an effective way to challenge British law, and his peaceful but ultimately successful movement became known as Satyagraha.

Pocket Bios: Princess Diana book
#2
Pocket Bios: Princess Diana
Written and illustrated by Al Berenger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Princess Diana was the popular first wife of Prince Charles of Wales. Known as “the People’s Princess,” she was involved in many charities and supported controversial causes. From her engagemnet to Charles, Princess Di had a special connection with the public in England and around the world. Her marriage was subject to aggressive media attention, and she was forever memorialized in the hearts of the British people after her death in a tragic car crash in Paris.

Manjhi Moves a Mountain book
#3
Manjhi Moves a Mountain
Written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by Danny Popovici
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Dashrath Manjhi used a hammer and chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through the mountain separating his poor village from the nearby village with schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if your heart is big enough.

Sandy's Circus book
#4
Sandy's Circus
Written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Alexander Calder, or Sandy to those who knew him, was a joyous, playful man who did not call himself an artist. But, oh what an artist he was! His gigantic, colorful metal sculptures and his amazing mobiles can be seen in public places all over the world. One of his first creations was a wonderful, whimsical that made out of found materials such as wire, cork, and paper. Imagine a big bear of a man down on his hands and knees, making his clever creations leap, run, and dance to the delight of everyone who watched. This is the story of Sandy’s magical, moveable circus.

Sparky & Spike book
#5
Sparky & Spike
Written by Barbara Lowell and illustrated by Dan Andreasan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This charming book is a story about a boy nicknamed Sparky and his beloved dog, Spike. Spike is the most amazing dog ever. He inspires Sparky to draw. Someday, Sparky will be an artist. Based on the childhood of Charles Schulz, creator of the world-renowned Peanuts comic, and the dog who inspired the most beloved dog of all—Snoopy—this book will resonate with children everywhere. Sparky & Spike includes a biographical note, as well as archival photographs of Sparky and Spike and a letter Charles Schulz wrote to the book’s illustrator, Dan Andreasen, when Andreasen was a boy.

  1. Who Did It First? 50 Politicians, Activists, and Entrepreneurs Who Revolutionized the World - Who Did It First? is a boldly illustrated middle-grade compendium featuring the women and men who revolutionized politics, policy, and philanthropy, and the “firsts” that made them extraordinary leaders. You may know that Thurgood Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court Justice. And maybe you know that Benazir Bhutto was the first female prime minister of Pakistan. You might not know that George Shima was the first Japanese American millionaire. Or that Schuyler Bailar is the first openly transgender NCAA Division 1 swimmer. Who Did It First? 50 Politicians, Activists, and Entrepreneurs Who Revolutionized the World celebrates fifty trailblazers—women and men, well-known figures and lesser-known heroes—who made the world a better place. Filled with compelling profiles highlighting what each subject accomplished first alongside vibrant illustrations, this gorgeous book has something for every young reader to cherish.

  2. You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood - A heartwarming picture book that celebrates the work of Mister Rogers and carries on his legacy of kindness Mister Rogers is one of the most beloved television personalities, but before he was the man who brought us Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he was just little Freddie Rogers. Though he was often sick and had trouble making friends as a child, his mom and grandfather encouraged him to ask for help and explore the world. With their support, he learned how to better say what he was feeling and see the beauty around him. As he grew up, he realized he could spread the message of compassion, equality, and kindness through television. You Are My Friend is a gentle homage to Fred Rogers and shows how his simple message still resonates with us today: “There’s no person in the world like you and I like you just the way you are.” The book includes a short biography of Fred’s life and a bibliography.

  3. Antonio's Music - Antonio loved to create music, and everyone loved to listen to it. But then, Antonio’s music was forgotten for many years. Was Antonio’s music gone forever?

  4. Antsy Ansel - As a child, Ansel Adams just couldn’t sit still. He felt trapped indoors and never walked anywhere—he ran. Even when he sat, his feet danced. But in nature, Ansel felt right at home. He fell in love with the gusting gales of the Golden Gate, the quiet whisper of Lobos Creek, the icy white of Yosemite Valley, and countless other remarkable natural sights. From his early days in San Francisco to the height of his glory nationwide, this book chronicles a restless boy’s path to becoming an iconic nature photographer.

Sacajawea of the Shoshone book
#10
Sacajawea of the Shoshone
Written by Natasha Yim and illustrated by Albert Nguyen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

One minute she was picking berries and the next her tribe was under attack. Running for her life, Sacajawea was scooped up and taken far away from her village and family—and into history. From her mountain home to the banks of the Missouri River, over the majestic Rockies to the pounding waves of the Pacific, Sacajawea would travel farther than any American woman of her time.

Richly illustrated and smartly narrated, this book brings to life the story of the real and remarkable Shoshone princess who helped Captains Lewis and Clark navigate their way across the American West.

A Voice Named Aretha book
#11
A Voice Named Aretha
Written and illustrated by Katheryn Russell-Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A beautiful picture book biography about the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and how she fought for equal rights throughout her life.

Aretha Louise Franklin grew up in a house of music. The shy daughter of a famous Detroit preacher and civil rights activist, Aretha’s big voice surprised those around her, and everyone agreed: her powerful singing would someday make her a star.

After relocating to New York City and signing a record deal, Aretha relentlessly pursued her dream of stardom. But it took many years of tireless touring and recording until her hit record “Respect” finally brought her the acclaim she deserved. Along the way, Aretha used her talents to fight for respect and equal rights along the way by refusing to perform for “whites only” audiences. With six decades of hits, countless memorable performances, and millions of lives touched, Aretha’s legacy of resilience and respect will inspire for generations to come.

Albert Einstein book
#12
Albert Einstein
Written by Jane Kent and illustrated by Isabel Muñoz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Join Albert Einstein on his journey of scientific discovery and see how the Nobel Prize winner forever changed how we think about energy, gravity, and the world around us. Kids will learn about Einstein’s training, his struggle to find a teaching job, and how he developed his theory of relativity. The book also looks at his personal life, including his family, emigration to America, and love of music.

The Life of - La Vida De Ritchie book
#13
The Life of - La Vida De Ritchie
Written by Ariana Stein and Patty Rodriguez and illustrated by Citlali Reyes
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Born May 13, 1941, Ritchie Valens was a Mexican-American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His musical journey at age 5 when his father encouraged him to take up guitar. In high school, he made his performing debut with the band The Silhouettes. At 17, Ritchie recorded his final record, which included classics like “Donna” and “La Bamba”. That record went on to sell over one million copies. To this day, Ritchie Valens’ music lives on in the hearts of many!

Elizabeth Warren book
#14
Elizabeth Warren
Written by Susan Wood and illustrated by Sarah Green
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

“This picture book biography will outline the incredible history of Elizabeth Warren, the first female senator from Massachusetts. Elizabeth came from a struggling middle-class family in Oklahoma City. After a heart attack put Elizabeth’s father out of work, Elizabeth helped out by babysitting, waitressing, and sewing dresses, all while skipping a grade and shining in her school’s debate team. Debate taught Elizabeth how to fight with her words, a skill that eventually won her a state championship and a college scholarship. As a lawyer and law professor, Elizabeth learned why it was so difficult for working-class families like her own to advance economically, and today she continues to fight (with her words) for the poor and middle-class in her role as a politician. The text focuses on the importance of being outspoken—of fighting with words both for yourself and for those that need your help. The backmatter will include an author’s note and resources list. Nevertheless, She Persisted is sure to appeal to members of the “resist-erhood” looking for stories of strong female leaders”—

  1. I am Unstoppable - The littlest readers can learn about Amelia Earhart in this board book version of the New York Times bestselling Ordinary People Change the World biography. This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great—the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. In this new board book format, the very youngest readers can learn about one of America’s icons in the series’s signature lively, conversational way. The short text focuses on drawing inspiration from these iconic heroes, and includes an interactive element and factual tidbits that young kids will be able to connect with. This volume tells the story of Amelia Earhart, the famous pilot.

  2. Ada Lovelace - Meet Ada Lovelace, the British mathematician and daughter of poet Lord Byron. New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the colourful life of Lord Byron’s daughter, from her early love of logic, to her plans for the world’s first computer program. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

  3. The Superlative A. Lincoln - Tallest, wisest, most studious—Lincoln was simply superlative! Get to know the personal side of Honest Abe (his LEAST FAVORITE nickname) through fresh and funny poems expressing his superlative nature. Abraham Lincoln is famous for many extremes: he was the TALLEST president, who gave the GREATEST SPEECH and had the STRONGEST conviction. But did you know that he was also the MOST DISTRACTED farmer, the MOST TALENTED wrestler and inventor, and the CRAFTIEST storyteller?

  4. I Am George Washington - We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer. Learn all about George Washington, America’s first president. George Washington was one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known. He was never afraid to be the first to try something, from exploring the woods around his childhood home to founding a brand new nation, the United States of America. With his faith in the American people and tremendous bravery, he helped win the Revolutionary War and became the country’s first president. Each picture book in this series is a biography of a significant historical figure, told in a simple, conversational, vivacious way, and always focusing on a character trait that makes the person a role model for kids. The heroes are depicted as children throughout, telling their life stories in first-person present tense, which keeps the books playful and accessible to young children. And each book ends with a line of encouragement, a direct quote, photos, a timeline, and a source list.

An Apple for Harriet Tubman book
#19
An Apple for Harriet Tubman
Written by Glennette Tilley Turner and illustrated by Susan Keeter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Biography of a little slave girl whipped for eating an apple, who later grew up to become a famous “conductor” for the underground railroad.

Coco Chanel book
#20
Coco Chanel
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Ana Albero
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Meet Coco Chanel, the world famous fashion designer! Now available as a board book in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the life of the iconic first lady of fashion, from her early life in an orphanage – where she is a genius with needle and thread – to her time as a cabaret singer, hat maker and, eventually, international fashion designer. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

The Life of/ La Vida De Selena book
#21
The Life of/ La Vida De Selena
Written and illustrated by Ariana Stein and Patty Rodriguez
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A Lil’ Libros Bilingual Biography Selena’s career started at a young age when she became lead singer in her family’s band, Selena Y Los Dinos. She went on to become an award-winning artist with albums like Amor Prohibido and Selena Live, and earned the title “Queen of Tejano Music.” Your little one will learn that Selena’s favorite food was pizza and that the most important people in the world to her were her familiaand fans.

Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy book
#22
Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy
Written by Richard Michelson and illustrated by Edel Rodriguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

A moving biography of the late Leonard Nimoy, the iconic Spock from Star Trek, whose story exemplifies the American experience and the power of pursuing your dreams.

Mario and the Hole in the Sky book
#23
Mario and the Hole in the Sky
Written by Elizabeth Rusch and illustrated by Teresa Martinez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The true story of how Mexican-American scientist Mario Molina helped solve the ozone crisis of the 1980s and went on to become a Nobel laureate and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His inspiring story gives hope in the fight against global warming. Full color.

  1. Martina & Chrissie - A fascinating dual biography of tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert celebrates the power of equality, respect, and sportsmanship. Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert come from completely different places and play tennis in completely different ways. Chrissie is the all-American girl: practiced, poised, with perfect technique. Martina hails from Czechoslovakia, a Communist country, and her game is ruled by emotion. Everything about them is different, except one thing: they both want to be the best. But as their intense rivalry grows, something else begins to swing into place, and a friendship forms that will outlast all their tennis victories. Phil Bildner and Brett Helquist tell the engaging true story of these two masters of the court as they win title after title — and, most importantly, the hearts of the fans.

  2. Pocket Bios: Joan of Arc - A colorfully illustrated, pocket-size picture book biography of martyr and Roman Catholic saint, Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc was a teenager known for her instrumental role in the Hundred Years’ War between the rulers of France and England. Guided by religious visions, she fearlessly helped King Charles VII win back the French throne from the British. After being captured and burned at the stake, she was declared a martyr and canonized as a saint in the Roman Catholic church. Joan of Arc is a national heroine and patron saint, as her legend remains popular and fascinating to this day. About the series:Pocket Bios are full of personality, introducing readers to fascinating figures with simple storytelling and cheerful illustrations. Titles include men and women from history, exploration, the sciences, the arts, and the ancient world. Biographies about religious and spiritual leaders include Gandhi and the Buddha.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!