Each year, on the third Monday in February, our country celebrates Presidents’ Day. Though many educators focus on two presidents in particular—George Washington and Abraham Lincoln—the day serves as an opportunity to recognize the lives of all U.S. presidents.
To help you explore our presidents with your children, as well as their role in our history, we’ve put together a short list of our favorite books on the subject.
Smart About the Presidents by Jon Buller, Susan Schade, & Jill Weber • Grosset & Dunlap
From the Smart About History series comes this book with fun facts about the lives of our U.S. presidents. Though it is best geared for elementary-aged students, the book includes a surprising amount of information—everything from the kids who lived in the White House to a map of each president’s birthplace to who were the tallest and shortest presidents. The book also presents information about the presidency itself, including who is eligible, some of the president’s duties, and the Presidential Oath of Office. The illustrations are fun and funny, though never distasteful.
Paperback—best suited for children ages 5 and up.
U.S. Presidents Feats & Foul-Ups: The Good, the Bad, and the Silly by Nell Fuqua • Illustrated by Zina Saunders • Lemon Drop Press
Older children will enjoy the little known facts about the presidents (through George W. Bush) inside the pages of this book. Each page on a president includes a list of Feats (Dwight D. Eisenhower ended the Korean War by negotiating a cease-fire), Firsts (he was also the first president to fly in the presidential jet), Foul-ups (and he banished squirrels from the White House grounds because they were destroying his golf green), and personal tidbits (after retiring, he enjoyed painting by numbers). Basic statistics, such as their birth date, religion, political party, etc., are also given.
Paperback—great for older children ages 9 and up.
Read Related: Teach Your Kid About the Presidential Election
You Can Memorize All the U.S. Presidents by R. E. Skibiski • Tordwifel Books
If your child is required (or struggling) to memorize the presidents for school, then this may be the answer. Learn the presidents—in order—with the poem and exercises in this book. Not only does it rhyme, but the presidential poem can be broken down into five poems to make learning easier.
Available in paperback or Kindle edition.
If you’d prefer to study the presidents more in-depth, we love the Who Was…? series. The biography series includes the books about the lives of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama. From childhood to their presidency and after, each book describes the president with an engaging storyline and historical information about the events that affected his life. All of these books are available in paperback, hardback, or digital editions.
There is certainly no dearth of books on Washington or Lincoln for children, so if your child is studying one of these two presidents, head to your local library and let her pick the one that she likes best and that is age-appropriate. Your child is more likely to enjoy a book of her choosing.
Have a Happy Presidents’ Day!