4th Of July Children's Books That Go Beyond Fireworks
Independence Day is often filled with many fun activities to celebrate the birth of our nation. Between family cookouts, thrilling fireworks shows, and parades marching by, it's easy to lose sight of the history behind it all. These children's books for the 4th of July go beyond fireworks to help show your kids exactly what freedom means and why we celebrate.
Traditional 4th of July foods like apple pies and hot dogs are undoubtedly delicious, and lounging poolside while sipping on a red, white, and blue cocktail is definitely a relaxing way to celebrate. However, those activities can't hold a candle to learning about the importance of immigrants and diversity that created America. Now more than ever, books are a great way to introduce kids to everything that makes the 4th of July a date worth remembering.
While our current state of affairs in our country might be less-than-ideal, reading a book with your kids that explores our nation's history in a kid-friendly way can help open their eyes to the true beauty that America can hold. You can share these children's books about the 4th of July and rest assured that they'll actually learn more than just how to dress in head-to-toe stars and stripes.
1. 'Apple Pie Fourth Of July' by Janet S. Wong
Apple pie may be one of Independence Day's signature foods, but that doesn't mean that food with origins in other countries should take a backseat on July 4th. In Apple Pie 4th Of July by Janet Wong, when a young Chinese American girl tries to convince her parents that they're celebrating the 4th all wrong, she learns a important lesson about honoring her bi-cultural heritage.
2. 'What is America' by Michelle Medlock Adams
From our nation's flag to the Statue of Liberty, kids might think they know all about the symbols of freedom in America, but What Is America? by Michelle Medlock Adams teaches children that there is so much more to the beliefs and ideals that created our country than can be seen in these famous symbols.
3. 'What Does It Mean to Be American' by Rana DiOrio
What Does It Mean to Be American by Rana DiOrio challenges the traditional narrative of Americanism that people often think of when they celebrate Independence Day in a flurry of red, white, and blue. Instead of fireworks and hot dogs, reading this children's book for the 4th of July celebrates the unique people who make America what it is.
4. 'Blue Sky White Stars' by Sarvinder Naberhaus
This children's book beautifully captures many of the iconic images that symbolize American culture. From civil rights marches to space shuttles lifting off, Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus has it all. You can use the picturesque imagery to start a conversation with your child this Independence Day that takes on a deeper meaning.
5. 'We Came to America' by Faith Ringgold
The author of the iconic Coretta Scott King and Caldecott Honor winning Tar Beach, Faith Ringgold, presents a stunning book to share with your children in honor of July 4th. We Came to America presents kids with a look at how diversity shapes our nation, and why each and every unique person's stories are an important part of our country's shared history.
6. 'Pie Is for Sharing' by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard
Pie Is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard takes place at a 4th of July picnic where the children in attendance learn a crucial lesson about sharing more than pie. This book shares with kids the concept of sharing time, space, and memories with those around them, making it a point to emphasize the importance of community.
7. 'The Story of America's Birthday' by Patricia A. Pingry
If you're looking to show your toddler and pre-school-aged kids a book about why we celebrate the 4th of July, The Story of America's Birthday by Patricia A Pingry puts events like the signing of The Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution into an easy-to-understand format that parents and kids can enjoy together.
8. 'What's the Big Deal About Freedom?' by Ruby Shamir
Looking for a launch point to start the conversation with kids about what it really means to live in the land of the free? Look no further than What's the Big Deal About Freedom by Ruby Shamir. Accompanied by beautiful watercolor illustrations by Matt Faulkner, this book details moments in history where notable Americans like Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr. stood up for freedom.
9. 'American Trailblazers: 50 Remarkable People Who Shaped U.S. History' by Lisa Trusiani
From the founders of freedom in our nation to the fierce protectors of it, learning about history-makers is the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day. In American Trailblazers: 50 Remarkable People Who Shaped U.S. History by Lisa Trusiani, kids can learn all about the diverse cast of characters who have shaped the way we see our nation today.
10. 'The Fourth of July Story' by Alice Dalgliesh
For a look at exactly what happened to lead to 4th of July as we know it today, The Fourth of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh chronicles the events of revolutionary times by explaining the desire for freedom that led to the creation of The Declaration of Independence.