You’re a grand old picture book!

Happy (belated) 4th of July, everyone! Hope you’re all feeling rested and refreshed after a weekend of all-American activities. The 4th has always been my favorite non-gift-giving holiday, mostly for the food and fireworks—guess I never really outgrew being a pyro. In fact, this 4th, I was thrilled to discover that Connecticut has relaxed their fireworks laws—picked up some great Roman candles and other assorted goodies at Stop & Shop. No M-80s, but still, it’s a start!

Visiting my folks in CT, who are in driving distance of the beach, I’ll admit that books weren’t at the forefront of my thoughts (gasp). But as I watched Henry prance around the yard waving a little American flag, I did start to wonder a little about how to explain the holiday to him. So, back in the City last night, I combed through his bookshelves and discovered to my chagrin that we really didn’t have much for him—a copy of Lynne Cheney’s AMERICA: A PATRIOTIC PRIMER (which, no joke, is a really good book, but way too old for Henry), but that’s about it.

Thinking about my own reading, though, most of the books I remember from childhood, like Jean Fritz’s Revolutionary-era stories on Patrick Henry and John Hancock, would be too old for Henry. And doing a little Amazon surfing this morning, it seems like the bulk of Americana for kids is either in the early reader format or aimed more for the 5-10 picture book readers than the younger end.

But maybe I’m just not finding them… so, I turn to you, dear readers. Anyone got any recommendations for young picture books on America? Think of it as your patriotic duty…

3 Responses to You’re a grand old picture book!

  1. Cynthia says:

    John, you are right there are not many historical picture books out there, so I did a search and found this web site. It has a whole section on holidays and history. Check it out.


    And here is another book I found as well.

    Betsy Ross : Patriot of Philadelphia
    Judith St. George
    Illustrator: Sasha Meret
    Nonfiction Picture Book
    For ages 8 to 12
    Henry Holt, 1997 ISBN: 978-0805054392

    Happy hunting! Cynthia

  2. Huh. Okay, I’m stumped. Sounds like a question for the LibraryThing forums.

  3. M. G. King says:

    Interesting question, John! There’s JOHN, PAUL, GEORGE & BEN by Lane Smith (some of the stories needed a lot of explaining, but my kids thought the pictures were pretty funny.) But I’ve always been a big believer in “throwing mud on the wall to see what sticks.” Kids will surprise you. I read to my own preschoolers from a sparsely-pictured anthology of stories that was read to me when I was a girl, called AMERICAN BACKGROUNDS, part of a set published by Groiler back in the dark ages of 1958. (Edited, as I read, to be a little more PC — this volume was already old when I was a child). They loved the stories of George Washington, Lewis & Clark, the Continental Railroad, excerpts from the Little House books, the, ahem, Native Americans and the Great Buffalo, etc. There’s also a great PBS series available on Netflix called LIBERTY KIDS, which my boys watched as 4 year olds, and again in their early elementary years. Peanuts also has a great patriotic series. But you’re right, the pickin’s for patriotic preschoolers might be a bit slim, at least for titles still in print.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>