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Patriotic Holidays: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about patriotic holidays?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to patriotic holidays. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about patriotic holidays.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about patriotic holidays, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire to popular sellers like Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid to some of our favorite hidden gems like Blue Sky White Stars.

We hope this list of kids books about patriotic holidays can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

And Then Comes Summer
Written by Tom Brenner & illustrated by Jaime Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A joyful, sun-drenched tribute to the anticipation and adventures of the warmest season of the year. When the days stretch out like a slow yawn, and the cheerful faces of Johnny-jump-ups jump up . . . then it’s time to get ready for summer! From flip-flops and hide-and-seek to fireworks and ice-cream trucks, from lemonade stands and late bedtimes to swimming in the lake and toasting marshmallows, there’s something for everyone in this bright and buoyant celebration of the sunny season. Tom Brenner’s lovely, lyrical ode to summers spent outdoors will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever counted down the days until school gets out, and Jaime Kim’s jubilant, nostalgia-soaked illustrations leave little doubt that summer is indeed a time unlike any other.

Blue Sky White Stars
Written by Sarvinder Naberhaus & illustrated by Kadir Nelson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An inspiring and patriotic tribute to the beauty of the American flag, a symbol of America’s history, landscape, and people, illustrated by New York Times bestselling and Caldecott-honor winning artist Kadir Nelson

Wonderfully spare, deceptively simple verses pair with richly evocative paintings to celebrate the iconic imagery of our nation, beginning with the American flag. Each spread, sumptuously illustrated by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson, depicts a stirring tableau, from the view of the Statue of Library at Ellis Island to civil rights marchers shoulder to shoulder, to a spacecraft at Cape Canaveral blasting off. This book is an ode to America then and now, from sea to shining sea.

George Washington's Breakfast
Written by Jean Fritz & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A fun take on history from Newbery Honor-winning author, Jean Fritz!

George Washington Allen, a boy who never gives up until he finds out what he wants to know, is determined to learn all there is to know about his namesake, including what the first president ate for breakfast!

A Picture Book of George Washington
Written by David A. Adler & illustrated by Alexandra Wallner and John Wallner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The life and legacy of our nation’s first president, also known as commander of the Continental Army, husband to Martha, and an avid farmer and equestrian.

Over two hundred years after his death, George Washington remains one of the most studied figures in American history. This clear and concise picture book biography covers the important facts and historical background, complemented by charming illustrations. The text details Washington’s early life as well as the Revolutionary War and his impressive career as leader of the newly formed United States. Young readers will love learning more about the man who was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Back matter features a timeline.

Repackaged paperback edition has an elegant new series design!

For almost thirty years, David Adler’s Picture Book Biography series has profiled famous people who changed the world. Colorful, kid-friendly illustrations combine with Adler’s “expert mixtures of facts and personality” (Booklist) to introduce young readers to history through compelling biographies of presidents, heroes, inventors, explorers, and adventurers. These books are ideal for first and second graders interested in history, or who need reliable sources for school book reports.

Bunny Mail
Written & illustrated by Rosemary Wells
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Ruby is busy sending out party invitations, so Max decides he’ll write a letter too, asking for a special present. But when the postman delivers the letter to Grandma, she thinks Max is just saying hello. So Max sends another letter. It soon becomes clear to Grandma that Max is asking for something special. The only question is what? With eight clever flaps to lift, this heartwarming and interactive picture book gives Rosemary Wells fans even more reasons to love Max and Ruby, who are now starring in their own Nickelodeon television show.

  • Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire - Gilbert is nervous about portraying George Washington in front of the class, and he feels even worse when he leaves his main prop at home and allows another student to take the blame.

  • Hard Work, but It's Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter - The first picture book about the inspiring life of humanitarian Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth president of the United States and a Nobel Prize winner—from Alabama Spitfire author Bethany Hegedus. Even before Jimmy Carter became president, he knew the value of hard work. Living on his family’s peanut farm, Jimmy saw how hard work yielded strong results. At least it did for some people. But growing up in the segregated South, Jimmy also saw firsthand how white people and black people were not treated equally. None of it was right. None of it was fair. So Jimmy created a list of Good Mental Habits to help him navigate life’s challenges. The list guided his thoughts and actions and helped him fight for change, whether working with civil rights leaders to end racial discrimination in his home state of Georgia, helping to negotiate peace in the Middle East, or building homes for the poor through Habitat for Humanity. From the statehouse to the White House and beyond, Jimmy has worked to make change for all people, devoting decades to public service and becoming one of the most respected humanitarians of our time. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.

  • Honey, the Dog Who Saved Abe Lincoln - Based on a little-known tale from Abraham Lincoln’s childhood, this charming picture book written by debut author Shari Swanson and illustrated by acclaimed artist Chuck Groenink tells a classic story of a boy, his dog, and a daring rescue. Deeply researched and charmingly told, this is the true story of one extra-special childhood rescue—a dog named Honey. Long before Abraham Lincoln led the nation or signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he was just a barefoot kid running around Knob Creek, Kentucky, setting animals free from traps and snatching frogs out of the jaws of snakes. One day, young Abe found a stray dog with a broken leg and named him Honey. He had no idea that the scruffy pup would find his way into Abe’s heart, become his best friend, and—one fateful day—save his life.

  • Ellie May on Presidents' Day - Ellie May really wants to be her second-grade class’s flag leader during the Pledge of Allegiance, however her enthusiasm and hyperactivity keep getting in the way, both in school and at home—but maybe learning everything about various presidents, dressing the part, or pleading her case will finally get her teacher to pick her, rather than the well-behaved Ava.

So You Want to be President?
Written by Judith St. George & illustrated by David Small
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

This new version of the Caldecott-winning classic by illustrator David Small and author Judith St. George is updated with current facts and new illustrations to include our forty-second president, George W. Bush. There are now three Georges in the catalog of presidential names, a Bush alongside the presidential family tree, and a new face on the endpaper portraiture. Hilariously illustrated by Small, this celebration by St. George shows us the foibles, quirks and humanity of forty-two men who have risen to one of the most powerful positions in the world. Perfect for this election year–and every year!

Abraham Lincoln for Kids
Written & illustrated by Janis Herbert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

An activity book for young readers tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s life and details the events of his era, providing a fresh perspective on one of the most beloved American presidents.

Mr. Macky Is Wacky!
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Something weird is going on!

It’s Presidents’ Day! And Mr. Macky, the reading specialist, actually expects A.J. and his friends to read stuff about the presidents! Not only that, but he lives in a log cabin and thinks he’s Abraham Lincoln! Is he for real?

Who Was George Washington?
Written by Roberta Edwards & illustrated by True Kelley and Nancy Harrison
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In 1789, George Washington became the first president of the United States. He has been called the father of our country for leading America through its early years. Washington also served in two major wars during his lifetime: the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. With over 100 black-and-white illustrations, Washington’s fascinating story comes to life - revealing the real man, not just the face on the dollar bill!

Pie Is for Sharing
Written by Stephanie Ledyard & illustrated by Jason Chin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A picnic, a beach, a pie cut into pieces and shared with good friends. Pie is for sharing. It starts off round, and you can slice it into as many pieces as you want. What else can be shared? A ball, of course. A tree? What about time? Through the course of one memorable Fourth of July picnic, Stephanie Ledyard and Jason Chin take young readers through the ups and downs of sharing in this lovely picture book.

  • My America, the Beautiful - In this celebration of what ties America together, My Beautiful America pairs the lyrics of Katharine Lee Bates’s “America the Beautiful” with fun, modern illustrations to make a must-have for little patriots! A fuzzy touch-and-feel finger trail weaves throughout the illustrations of soldiers, farmers, and cities to remind children and grownups of the thread that ties us all together. A stunning, heartfelt presentation for all patriotic families—from sea to shining sea!

  • The Sign on Rosie's Door - Fans of Maurice Sendak’s Caldecott Medal-winning Where the Wild Things Are will love The Sign on Rosie’s Door**—_the book that inspired the Broadway musical _Really Rosie, with music by Carole King!** There was a sign on Rosie’s door that said, “If you want to know a secret, knock three times.” One day, Kathy, Rosie’s good friend, knocks three times and learns the secret—that Rosie is no longer Rosie, but Alinda, the lovely lady singer. What follows is the story of real children, playing as only children know how. In a starred review, Kirkus praised The Sign on Rosie’s Door, saying, “Maurice Sendak, through both text and illustrations, fuses the appealingly familiar with the magical in a book of outstanding charm.” First published in 1960, The Sign on Rosie’s Door portrays children in their very real world of imagination as only Maurice Sendak can.

  • Red, White, and Blue and Katie Woo! - As Katie, her parents, and friends celebrate Independence Day with a parade, games, a picnic, and fireworks, the few things that go wrong do not interfere with their fun.

  • Lincoln Tells a Joke - Poor Abraham Lincoln! His life was hardly fun at all. A country torn in two by war, citizens who didn’t like him as president, the loss of two young sons, a homely appearance—what could there possibly be to laugh about? And yet he did laugh. Lincoln wasn’t just one of our greatest presidents. He was a comic storyteller, a lover of jokes, someone who could lighten a grim situation with a clever quip. What better way to deal with a hard life than to find the humor in it?

Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid
Written by Megan McDonald & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Shrink, shrank, shrunk! Every morning, Judy Moody measures Stink and it’s always the same: three feet, eight inches tall. Stink feels like even the class newt is growing faster than he is. Then, one day, the ruler reads — can it be? — three feet, seven and three quarters inches! Is Stink shrinking? He tries everything to look like he’s growing, but wearing up-and-down stripes and spiking his hair aren’t fooling anyone into thinking he’s taller. If only he could ask James Madison — Stink’s hero, and the shortest person ever to serve as president of the United States. In Stink’s first solo adventure, his special style comes through loud and strong — enhanced by a series of comic strips, drawn by Stink himself, which are sprinkled throughout the book. From “The Adventures of Stink in SHRINK MONSTER” to “The Adventures of Stink in NEWT IN SHINING ARMOR,” these very funny, homespun sagas reflect the familiar voice of a kid who pictures himself with super powers to deal with the travails of everyday life — including the occasional teasing of a bossy big sister!

Hoorade Day!
Written by Nancy Raines Day & illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It is the Fourth of July, and a young girl and her parents are off to see the town’s big parade—Hoorade Day! Boosted up on daddy s shoulders, the girl excitedly waves to her family members in the parade and joyfully describes each section. From the bleats and bangs of the marching band to the graceful twirls of the ribbon dancers, the little girl spots it all, reciting simple, rhyming cheers that complement the bright illustrations of the diverse community on each page.

Narrated in jolly, lively verse, Hoorade Day! celebrates the birthday of a nation founded on principles of unity and hope. It will delight children and adults alike, keeping them smiling to the very last page.

George Did It
Written by Suzanne Jurmain & illustrated by Larry Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Everyone wanted George Washington to be the president. He was responsible, led the army in a fight against the British, and helped write the Constitution. But being the president is a very important job, and George was too nervous. So, to everyone’s surprise, he said no! However, George had many supporters, and with the help of the cheering crowds and loyal advisers and dignitaries, George realized that he didn’t have time to think about how nervous he was, he just had to do his job. With little-known facts and a bit of humor, Suzanne Tripp Jurmain gives readers a glimpse into the more personal side of the first president of the United States.

Big George: How a Shy Boy Became President Washington
Written by Anne Rockwell & illustrated by Matt Phelan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

A boy from Virginia becomes the first president

Before he was the face on the dollar bill, George Washington was a shy boy with a hot temper. But George had character and adaptability. He taught himself courage and self-control. At an early age, and without really realizing it, George Washington gathered the qualities he’d need to become one of the greatest leaders America has ever known.

 Anne Rockwell’s prose is dignified, Matt Phelan’s illustrations are striking, and the details they reveal about George Washington’s early days are fascinating, sometimes tragic, and always moving.

Includes an author’s note.

Meet George Washington
Written & illustrated by Joan Heilbroner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

George Washington grew up in the English colony of Virginia. He was tall and strong, fair in judgment, and respected by his friends as a good leader. As he grew older, George saw how England took advantage of the American colonies—and he didn’t like it. When the colonies declared their independence, George was chosen to lead their army as its general. And when the colonies won their freedom, George was elected to lead the new nation as its first president.

  • Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln - A look at the early years of our sixteenth president.

  • Lady Liberty's Holiday - The Statue of Liberty is feeling a little blue, despite being green. As much as she loves welcoming people to America, standing still for over a hundred years has left her with a stiff neck, aching arms, and a cramp in her leg. This lady could use a vacation!

  • My Fourth of July - A young boy and his family celebrate his favorite day, Independence Day, by seeing a parade, having a picnic, watching a talent show, and enjoying fireworks.

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