As the 4th of July is approaching, I have put together a list of my favorite patriotic picture books for young readers. Our kids may not know why we are celebrating the day with parades and fireworks, unless we tell them. I love this quote by John Adams regarding celebrating the 2nd of July (which is now the 4th of July):
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty; it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
Americanly by Lynn Sutton
A wonderful love story that uses descriptive adverbs to describe places in America. “I love you tremendously like a redwood tree.” A great way to find where to go on your next family vacation, too!
Wonders of the USA A Shine-a-Light by Carron Brown and Bee Johnson
Pull out your flashlight and explore the most famous spots in the USA. When you shine your light behind the page you will see what is hidden in the picture, such as who is inside the White House and who is inside the Statue of Liberty’s crown. The pages in black are the photos you see when you shine the light on the other side of the page. For instance, when you shine your light behind Lady Liberty you will see the people inside her crown taking photographs.
The Story of America’s Birthday by Patricia Pingree
A very simple book that explains how America was formed. A great way to introduce to young children why we celebrate the 4th of July.
America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates
Beautiful illustrations to the poem and song, America the Beautiful. This book celebrates the beauty of America’s diverse landscape.
Star Spangled Banner by Peter Spier
Brings our national anthem to life with beautiful pictures that help children understand the words of the song.
The 4th of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh
Ages 4-8 (although I would say more like 6-12)
This book has longer text paragraphs but is a great way for elementary-aged children to learn why we celebrated the 4th of July.
Presidents of the United States
Gives an overview of every president our country has had.
A is for Abaigail An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynne Cheney
An ABC book in which each letter of the alphabet stands for an important woman in American history. A great way to teach your children about these inspiring women.
Celebrate the 50 States! By Loreen Leedy
Ages 5 and up
Shows a drawing of each state and gives fun facts.
We the Kids The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States by David Catrow
An illustrated book that helps children understand the Preamble to our constitution.
The Flag Maker by Susan Bartoletti
The story of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that became the national anthem of the United States.
Paul Rever’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Ages 5-8 (I would say more like 7-11)
Great book about the legendary Paul Revere.
In 1776 by Jean Marzollo
Ages 7 and up
Simple rhyming text that describes America’s fight for independence.