Celebrate America: 12 Great Picture Books for the 4th of July

4th books

The Fourth of July is quickly approaching this year; while many of us may be celebrating on vacation, it’s always a great time to introduce new books and history to children.  There are many, many great chapter books and historical fictions for young people to read about the broad history of the U.S.A, but thought it would be nice to include mostly picture books that are fun and informative for the younger set but also setting up a foundation of knowledge on our country’s history.

Do you have any favorite books for the fourth?

Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America

Listening to her grandchildren’s enthusiastic account of all they saw and did on a family road trip inspired Lynne Cheney to collaborate with Robin Preiss Glasser and create Our 50 States — the greatest family vacation imaginable. Pack your bags and celebrate our diverse heritage state by state and sea to shining sea in this treasure trove of America’s people, places, and history.

A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women

Filled to the brim with words and pictures that celebrate the remarkable (although often unmarked) achievements of American women, this is a book to relish and to read again and again. Mothers, daughters, schoolchildren, generations of families — everyone — will take Abigail Adams’s words to heart and “remember the ladies” once they read the stories of these astonishing, astounding, amazing American women.

. . . If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620

Questions and answers describe the voyage of the Mayflower and the Pilgrim’s first year in the New World.

Liberty or Death: The American Revolution: 1763-1783 (American Story)

Over more than ten years, sides were taken, guns drawn, lives lost. But through it all, one man — a general from Virginia named George Washington — held the young colonies together and led them to victory, beating almost impossible odds.

History lovers Betsy and Giulio Maestro tell this true story of extraordinary times, incredible drama, and the birth of a new nation.

So You Want to Be President?

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!

By the Dawn’s Early Light: The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner

The inspiring story of how Francis Scott Key wrote America’s national anthem, complete with majestic oil paintings that bring the history and excitement to life.

. . . If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution

If you were there when they signed the Constitution you would see

–Why the Constitution is called a miracle.
–The first big argument.
–What was missing from the Constitution.

This books takes you behind the locked doors of Philadelphia’s State House during the history-making summer of 1787. You will meet the key delegates and find out what is going on.

The Constitution of the United States (True Books)

Sweet Land of Liberty (Ellis the Elephant)

With its vivid illustrations and charming rhymes, Sweet Land of Liberty is a must read for children and parents alike who want to explore our nation’s great history—and discover why America is a free and exceptional nation.

The Story of America’s Birthday 

Simple text explains why we celebrate the Fourth of July as America’s birthday.

F Is For Flag (Reading Railroad Books) 

June 14 is Flag Day, but with so many American flags proudly displayed, every day seems like Flag Day. Perfect for reading together with a young child, F Is for Flag shows in simple terms how one flag can mean many things: a symbol of unity, a sign of welcome, and a reminder that-in good times and in bad-everyone in our country is part of one great big family.

{Book abstracts via Goodreads}


  1. What a wonderful list just in time for the 4th! This is inspiring me to create some of my own lists of books–I often post for Top Ten Tuesday, but many of the Kid Lit Blog Hop stops have inspired me to create some annotated lists of picturebooks and middle grade novels for the blog. I just visited Plymouth Plantation today and saw the picturebook you have about sailing on the Mayflower! I saw the Mayflower II last week, and was fascinated! Such great history for young readers.

  2. I write historical fiction for young people, two so far about the American Revolution. I’m delighted to see books promoted that whet ounger children’s appetites about our nation’s history! Thank you.

  3. What a great lists of books! Thanks for taking the time to research and share on the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

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