Fireworks, barbeques, and pool parties aren’t the only way to celebrate the Fourth of July. Sometimes snuggling up with your family on the couch and reading a book is the perfect way to start, or end, the day.
Reading aloud to children, even those old enough to read themselves, is the best way to ensure their enjoyment of reading. Here are some books that will help your family celebrate Independence Day, and learn a little something, too.
1 | “A is for America” by Devin Scillian
These alphabet books are always a hit. With short, rhyming descriptions for each letter and more detailed explanations for older children (or to read when younger ones express an interest), these books are full of fun.
This book includes American history from the beginning with bright and beautiful illustrations. From Kitty Hawk and Kansas and Kodiak Bears to Philadelphia, Pike’s Peak, and Plymouth Rock, each letter depicts something fun and meaningful to all Americans. Your child will want you to read this again and again, and you will want to!
2 | “Red, White, and Boom!” By Lee Wardlaw
This book is perfect for reading aloud to a crowd or on the comfort of your couch. Explore the different ways people celebrate, all in rhyme. Beach picnics, parades, and, of course, fireworks explode off the page with intricate and vibrant illustrations.
Your children’s attention will be easily kept with the simple, short couplets and the way the anticipation builds towards the celebration. Children will ooh and aah just like when watching fireworks later on. In fact, they’ll probably ask you to read it again and again.
3 | “This Land is Your Land” by Woodie Guthrie and Kathy Jakobsen
Children are familiar with this song that’s brought to life through pictures. The illustrations and storyline take families from one end of the country to the other, showcasing the diversity of our great nation and the people who live here. There are some parts of the book that may invite conversation about these diversities, if children are old enough to recognize them in the pictures. A great read for adults and children alike.
4 | “We the Kids” by David Caltrow
Through the antics of a camping trip, Caltrow shows that learning about the Constitution can be fun! This book focuses on the Preamble to the Constitution in an easy-to-understand and fun way. The cartoon-like illustrations will keep the interest of littler kids while the words of the Preamble are a great learning tool for older kids.
5 | “Apple Pie Fourth of July” by Janet S. Wong
America is a melting pot of people from around the world, and this book shares the experiences of a young Chinese-American girl. She tries to impress upon her parents the silliness of keeping their restaurant open on this holiday. She soon learns that while hot dogs and hamburgers may be some people’s way of celebrating, lots of cultures contributed to the traditions of the Fourth of July. For example, fireworks were invented by the Chinese. It’s a great reminder that while we all come from different backgrounds, we share in making this country great.
There are hundreds of good patriotic books to read to and with your children. What are some of your favorites?