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It’s almost time to celebrate America’s birthday, so I thought it would be a good idea to bring out some of our family’s favorite books to read around these weeks in case you’re looking for some recommendations. I think it’s an easy way for us to brush up on our history while getting in some good summer reading minutes.
Here are some of our recommendations for younger kiddos…
I Love You Americanly (4-7 years)
This book has simple artwork displaying scenes from across our nation. As you read to your loved one how you love them “immensely like the Grand Canyon’s walls” or “colossally like the High Cascades”, you’re transported around to many iconic locations that make our great nation so diverse and unique. Plus, your little one will learn some pretty spectacular adjectives in the process.
*This is a book published by Usborne Books & More. You may be able to find a few copies on Amazon from third party sellers.
Sweet Land of Liberty (4-8 years)
Ellis the Elephant sets off on a quest to find out what makes America the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. He gets quick little lessons about the pilgrims, colonists, settlers, inventors, immigrants, and soldiers – reminding us how grateful we are to live in this sweet land, and how privileged we are to be free.
In 1776 (7-10 years)
This little history lesson is set to rhyme and gives a basic introductory lesson on the American Revolution. I think it’s an appropriate one to read at this time to remind our kiddos how our country had to bravely fight for our independence. Our new country was just being born!
Now & Ben (5-9)
How can you talk about our country being founded without talking about one of it’s most influential “founding” men? This charming children’s book pays homage to the inventor side of the multifaceted Ben Franklin. Kids will marvel at the many modern-day conveniences we have to thank him for.
Here are some great books about our nation’s popular anthems and symbols…
America the Beautiful (6-9 years)
The words of this popular poem-turned-anthem are written across the sprawling illustrations created by ten different children’s book artists depicting their own interpretation of our country’s beauty. Each picture is also paired with an inspirational quote from one of our nation’s Presidents. God does truly shed His grace on thee!
This Land is Your Land (4+ years)
I can only sing this song when I read it to my kids; the music by Woody Guthrie just automatically plays in my ears. The illustrations in this book fit together like a patchwork quilt – very Americana. Once again, kids are treated to images taken from all over this diverse landscape while being reminded that no matter what the land looks like, it was made for you and me. Amen.
The Rocket’s Red Glare (7-12 years)
This book brings to life the history of the “Star-Spangled Banner”, as it follows Francis Scott Key on the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812, penning what becomes our National Anthem. Beautiful illustrations and a history lesson are not the only treats kept inside these pages though – you get a CD with the beloved song sung by Jo Dee Messina.
O, Say Can You See? (8-12 years)
This is a fantastic book for bigger kiddos who want to know more about our nation’s symbols and landmarks. Each monument or building has about 2-4 pages with information and pictures devoted to its history, relevance, and importance. There’s also a little section in the back devoted to our national holidays and a glossary. It’s great for budding history buffs.
Let’s not forget the ladies…
Founding Mothers (6-10 years)
Thanks to a little musical called Hamilton, we’re reminded that women tell the stories too and carry just as many legacies. This book is a good introduction for a little woman (or man) in your life who wants to learn about ten influential women from back in the day.
*Also check out Ladies of Liberty about the Suffrage Movement, by the same author.
Independent Dames (8-12 years)
This book features 22 girls and women who made large and small contributions during the Revolutionary War, carving out little pages of herstory to be remembered in. The illustrations are full-page, graphic novel-like, and rather busy – each page is packed with information. There’s a timeline running along the bottom of the pages with more detailed information for bigger kids.
There ya go! I hope you’ve felt inspired to grab a few books from your local library or bookstore, brush up on your history, and celebrate our freedom next week, giving thanks to God for this beautiful country! Cheers!
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance. The Lord looks from heaven: He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling, He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.” – Psalm 33:12-13 (NKJV)