If you’re looking for books to help you learn about the presidents in your homeschool, we’ve got some ideas for you! Whether you need picture books, chapter books, or biographies of a specific president, we hope this list will be a help to your homeschool. Scroll all the way to the bottom for some fun extras like coloring books and audio recordings.
Picture Books About the Presidency
America: A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney (ages 4 to 8)
This patriotic ABC picture book will acquaint your younger learners to some of the major figures in U.S. history. Your children might also enjoy Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America by the same author (wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney).
Arthur Meets the President by Marc Brown (ages 4 to 8)
When Arthur wins an essay contest on the topic, ‘How can I help make America great?’ he and his class win a trip to Washington, D.C. Not only will they get to meet the President, but Arthur will deliver his speech in front of the whole country. Will Arthur’s nerves get the best of him, or will he truly be able to help make America great?
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio (ages 4 to 8)
When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides she wants to be the nation’s first and immediately jumpstarts her political career by running in her school’s mock election! The race is tougher than she expected: her popular opponent declares that he’s the “best man for the job” and seems to have captured the votes of all of the class’s boys. But Grace is more determined than ever. Even if she can’t be the best man for the job, she can certainly try to be the best person! This story not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system but also teaches the value of hard work, courage, and being an independent thinker.
Madeline at the White House by John Bemelmans Maricano (ages 4 to 8)
Madeline fans will love visiting the White House in the company of Miss Clavel and the twelve little girls in two straight lines. They are on a mission to visit Candle Randall, the only daughter of the U.S. President, who is a very lonely little girl until Madeline comes to call. This book will take your child on a whimsical tour of our nation’s capital with Madeline and friends.
Presidents’ Day by Anne Rockwell (ages 4 to 8)
This book shows kids in an elementary school classroom learning about Presidents’ Day by putting on a play showcasing different presidents. At the end of the book, the children vote for class president with an unexpected outcome.
What Is the President’s Job? by Allison Singer (ages 5 to 7)
This early reader introduces children to the executive branch and describes the daily life of a commander-in-chief with simple text and colorful pictures. A great way to familiarize your young child with basic political vocabulary!
Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Nation’s Capital by Charlotte Pence (ages 6 to 12)
In this book the wife and daughter of former Vice President Mike Pence team up to give us a window into what makes America so special from the point of view of their pet bunny, Marlon Bundo, also known as BOTUS (bunny of the United States). Marlon’s Grandma, Karen Pence, teaches him the Pledge of Allegiance and shows him around the nation’s capital, visiting historical landmarks and learning about the founding principles articulated in the Pledge.
So You Want to be President? by Judith St. George (ages 7 to 12)
This humorous look at the presidency covers some of the perks and drawbacks of being the leader of the free world. Packed with little-known facts and quirky anecdotes about the first 42 presidents, this book brings the presidents to life as real people.
DK Eyewitness Books: Presidents (ages 10 to 13)
Written in partnership with the Smithsonian Institute, this is an excellent reference book to have on hand. It includes a mini-biography of each president as well as photographs of hundreds of historical objects and documents. A must if you have a visual learner in your family!
These would all be great choices for newly independent readers or those who are ready for longer books, but still like having a picture on every page (ideal for ages 6 to 9). These are amusing stories that will hold your kids’ attention, rather than dull recitations of facts.
- George Washington and the General’s Dog by Frank Murphy
- George Washington’s Mother by Jean Fritz
- Abe Lincoln’s Hat by Martha Brenner
- Lewis and Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President by Shirley Raye Redmond
Books About Specific Presidents
George Washington by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire (ages 4 to 11)
This gorgeous picture book is an inspiring look at our nation’s first President that will captivate kids of all ages. It has beautiful color illustrations to keep your littlest ones engaged as well as detailed descriptions of Washington’s childhood growing up on a Virginia plantation, through his schooling and life at Mount Vernon, up to his leadership of the struggling colonies through the Revolutionary War.
When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots by Lynne Cheney (ages 8 to 10)
Christmas night, 1776, was a troubled time for our young country. In the six months since the Declaration of Independence had been signed, General George Washington and his troops had suffered defeat after defeat at the hands of the British. It looked as though our struggle for independence might be doomed, when Washington made a bold decision. He would lead the main body of his army across the Delaware River and launch a surprise attack on enemy forces. An inspiring story of victory against all odds.
George Washington: True Patriot by Janet and Geoff Benge (ages 10 to 15)
Part of the Heroes of History series, this chapter book chronicles the life of George Washington, showing how time after time in moments of crisis the colonies turned to General Washington to lead them through. As commander in chief of the Continental army, chairman of the Constitutional Convention, and first president, this indispensable American served the struggling nation when its survival hung in the balance.
This would be excellent reading for your middle or high schooler, written by Washington himself at age 14. It’s a quick read (only 30 pages) and provides great fodder for discussion with 110 rules ranging from common sense manners like not speaking with your mouth full to more unique personal policies that Washington created for himself. I love this window into colonial life and customs through the eyes of a teenager.
George Washington’s Farewell Address by George Washington (ages 14 and up)
Great primary source reading for your high schooler, this is the farewell address George Washington wrote when he announced he would leave the presidency. It encapsulates a view of the Union, the Constitution, and good citizenship that is an important part of American political thought today, so much so that the Senate has an annual tradition of reading Washington’s address aloud each February.
Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire (ages 4 to 11)
Another classic work by the D’Aulaires, recreated with the vivid colors of the original 1940 printing, this biography follows Honest Abe from his youth in the wilderness of Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, to his days practicing law, running for office, and eventually becoming president of the United States.
Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator by Augusta Stevenson (ages 8 to 12)
Perfect for children who are just getting into chapter books, this book imagines what life was like for young Abraham Lincoln, weaving together historical anecdotes in a way that brings history to life. Part of the Childhood of Famous Americans series.
Abraham Lincoln by James Daugherty (ages 10 and up)
At its original publication in 1943 this book was described as “a story to set the blood tingling and fill the heart with sorrow and glory, to set the footsteps of the mind on leaf-fallen Kentucky ground, on Springfield’s pavements, and down the hurried streets of Washington in the spring rain.” A portrait of “the people’s Lincoln, Lincoln the man–seen through the clear eyes of an artist and poet, American to the bone.”
Other Resources to Add to Your Presidents Study
George Washington: First in the Hearts of His Country Audio CD by Jim Weiss (ages 7 and up)
Created and told by master storyteller Jim Weiss, this 80 minute audio drama presents the story of George Washington as commander-in-chief and constitutionalist, political leader and peaceful farmer, family man and father of a nation. Listeners will discover why George Washington truly merits the title “first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Your family might also enjoy Abraham Lincoln and the Heart of America by Jim Weiss.
Presidents Coloring Books
Dover Publications has several coloring books to reinforce your learning about the Presidents:
- American Presidents
- America’s First Ladies
- Homes of the American Presidents
- History of the White House
- Abraham Lincoln
- Teddy Roosevelt
In these 12 patriotic episodes of Adventures in Odyssey, your children will join Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride, meet President Abraham Lincoln as the United States is being torn in two, escape with runaway slaves on the secret Underground Railroad and witness how “The Star-Spangled Banner” was composed on a battlefield by dawn’s early light. You’ll get four hours of listening perfect for President’s Day, Independence Day, or any day you’d like to learn more about American history.
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