Historical Figures: Board Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about historical figures?

David McCullough, a renowned author and historian, has said, “History is who we are and why we are the way we are.” There are so many people and events in history that have shaped the world and who we are today. Many of these people are inspiring and admirable examples, and we’ve gathered up our favorite children’s books about these historical figures to inspire your little ones. After all, they are the future and will help build upon the history for those who come later.

This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer book
#1
This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training!

Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might.

Little trailblazers cause great big changes.

In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Coco Chanel book
#2
Coco Chanel
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Ana Albero
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I think this darling board book is a great introduction to Coco Chanel. I love that it talks about her being herself and living her dreams. It also does a good job of telling the story of her journey to becoming a fashion designer.

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!

This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer book
#3
This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The whole “This Little…” series so far has been excellent, and this is no exception. Jam-packed with famous scientists and innovators, This Little Scientist does a great job of featuring a broad spectrum of great minds of diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise all throughout history. One of my favorite things about this book is that it teaches real science and history with cadence and rhyme that makes it easy to learn and since it’s enjoyable to read again and again… it starts to stick! Another big plus of this book for me is that depending on a child’s current attention level you can choose to read just the left-hand pages, just the right-hand pages, or both, and the flow is great any way you do it!

Learn all about scientists who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for inventors-in-training! Asking why. Then making a guess. Asking how. Then proving with tests. Little scientists make great big discoveries. In this follow up to This Little President, This Little Explorer, and This Little Trailblazer now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering scientists in history! Highlighting ten memorable scientists who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this discovery primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Dream Big, Little One book
#4
Dream Big, Little One
Written and illustrated by Vashti Harrison
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

This beautifully illustrated book showcases women who changed the world. Featuring 18 trailblazing black women in American history, Dream Big, Little Leader is the irresistible board book adaptation of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History. Among these women, you’ll find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something bigand amazing, inspiring generations to come.

The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. book
#5
The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Written by Johnny Ray Moore and illustrated by Amy Wummer
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

An easy-to-read biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his impact on society.

  1. I am Kind - 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 style. 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 Abraham Lincoln, America’s sixteenth president.

  2. Baby's First Eames - This whimsically illustrated board book offers a delightful A-to-Z overview of modern design icons for the toddler set. Parents who appreciate architecture and modern design will get a kick out of sharing their passion with their kids. From Alexander Calder to Frank Lloyd Wright, from Knoll furniture to Noguchi sculptures, the visionaries, buildings, and captivating objects introduced in Baby’s First Eames make design fun and accessible for aesthetes of all ages.

  3. Inventors Who Changed the World - From the ranging curiosity of Leonardo da Vinci to the dedication and sacrifice of Marie Curie, Little Heroes: Inventors Who Changed the World is a young child’s first introduction to the brilliant people who taught us the meaning of perseverance and innovation. Simple text and adorable illustrations tell the contributions of nine renowned inventors from around the world: Cai Lun, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Grace Hopper, Mary Sherman Morgan, and Nikola Tesla. Inspire your own little inventor with the words of these inventive heroes who changed the world.

  4. Wild Bios: Amelia Harehart - Amelia Harehart never let any hopstacles get in her way! Meet one of history’s greatest figures in this adorable board book with an animalistic twist! Dive into the life of the brave pilot Amelia Harehart, and the glass ceilings she flew through. Breaking records and always setting new goals to achieve, Amelia Harehart was an inspiration. With hilarious puns and colorful illustrations, this clever board book brings her legacy to life for babies and parents alike!

Good Grief, Georgia O'Keeffe! book
#10
Good Grief, Georgia O'Keeffe!
Written and illustrated by Misti Kenison
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Good grief, Georgia O’Keeffe!Are you painting flowers again?Georgia O’Keeffe is proud of her artwork, but all of the other artists want her to do things their way. Pablo Picasso wants her to paint cubes. Frida Kahlo says you should only paint yourself. Coco Chanel thinks art should be worn, not painted. When Georgia stands her ground, eventually the other artists are happy to support her. Featuring appearances from famous artists, architects, designers, and more, the newest title in this irreverent board book series makes art history fun and approachable for even the youngest of readers.”

Where's Your Hat, Abe Lincoln? book
#11
Where's Your Hat, Abe Lincoln?
Written and illustrated by Misti Kenison
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Abe Lincoln is worried. He cannot find his hat anywhere. Will his friends help him find it? Frederick Douglass is busy writing a book. Clara Barton is busy nursing wounded soldiers. What will Abe do?

From Harriett Tubman to Ulysses S. Grant, nobody seems to have the time to join the search. Will Abraham Lincoln find his hat in time to deliver the Gettysburg Address? This colorful and humorous board book primer features some of the most prominent figures of American history and introduces historians of all ages to the incredible beginning of the United States of America.

Cheer Up, Ben Franklin! book
#12
Cheer Up, Ben Franklin!
Written and illustrated by Misti Kenison
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Can this Founding Father find a friend? Introducing a new board-book series perfect for even the youngest historian! Ben Franklin is sad.No one has time to fly kites with him today.Betsy Ross is busy sewing a flag.Alexander Hamilton is busy counting money…Will things change for Ben when he reaches Independence Hall?The first volume of this new board-book series takes a tongue-in-cheek look at American history to introduce the youngest historians to some of the most prominent characters during our nation’s exciting beginning. Readers will love the amusing story, and biographies in the back of the book will ensure they’ll learn even more along the way.

Courageous People Who Changed the World book
#13
Courageous People Who Changed the World
Written by Heidi Poelman and illustrated by Kyle Kershner
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From the intrepid efforts of Susan B. Anthony to the quiet courage of Rosa Parks, Little Heroes: Courageous People Who Changed the World is a young child’s first introduction to the brave people who fought to make the world a better place. Simple text and adorable illustrations tell the contributions of eight champions of freedom: Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Malala Yousafzai, Harriet Tubman, William Wilberforce, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. A quote from each individual is included on each spread along with colorful, delightful artwork.

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