The 4th of July is the perfect time to teach your kids all about the United States. Here are 21 picture books about America you can share with your kids on the Fourth of July or any time of year.
With the 4th of July coming up, I wanted to find some great picture books about America to read with my kids. There are a TON of picture books about the United States out there. I gathered up about 50 of them, read them, then narrowed them down to my top 21 favorites.
The books are separated into six categories: board books, 4th of July specific books, books about the states, books about America, books about American things, and great stories.
Here are the best picture books for the 4th of July:
Board Books About America
- This Little President: A Presidential Primer by Joan Holub & Illustrated by Daniel Roode: This little book highlights a few presidents through rhyme. It has super cute illustrations and is a great first introduction to American presidents and US history.
- The Story of America’s Birthday by Patricia A. Pingry & Illustrated by Meredith Johnson: This board book gives a really simple background of how America came to be. It’s a great way to start teaching your really little ones all about this country!
Fourth of July Specific Books
- The Night Before the Fourth of July by Natasha Wing & Illustrated by Amy Wummer: This is a cute book, similar to The Night Before Christmas, but all about the Fourth of July. This series of books is so cute and the one about the 4th was no exception!
- Fourth of July by Emma Carlson Berne & Illustrated by Luke Flowers: This book is unique and fun because it includes music! The last page of the book has a barcode you scan with your phone camera that will take you to a webpage to listen to the book while you read. The first page contains background info about the US, then the rest is a song all about the fun that happens on the Fourth of July. It’s such a cute idea! Plus, the pictures are adorable!
- Red, White, and Boom! by Lee Wardlaw & Illustrated by Huy Voun Lee: The sounds and rhyme scheme in this make this book a great read aloud! It’s super simple and one you could read over and over again.
- Pie is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard & Illustrated by Jason Chin: This book doesn’t appear to be a 4th of July book until the last page, but I had to include it. It’s such a cute story all about sharing!
- Independence Day by Ann Heinrichs & Illustrated by Robert Squier: This book is written in book report style. That being said, it’s really short and entertaining! It gives only the most important information about the holiday and how America came to be. Plus, it includes some favorite American songs, fun facts, questions to think about, and a recipe & craft idea. It’s a really fun book!
Books About the States
- The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller: This book has a been a hit in our house for years. In fact, our copy recently fell apart because it was so well-loved! This story features the states as characters. One day, they decide they’re bored and throw a party. While at the party, they decide it’d be fun to switch places, so instead of returning home, they switch things up. They soon learn that maybe home is where they want to be after all. It’s such a fun book! There’s also a Scrambled States of America game, which we have and LOVE! I also saw they have a puzzle & book set and a DVD as well!
- The Scrambled States of America Talent Show by Laurie Keller: With how much we love the original book, I’m surprised we’d never read this one before. But we loved it just like we loved the first! Bonus: this story addresses stage fright, so it’s a great read for kids struggling with that.
- The 50 States: Fun Facts written by Gabrielle Balkan & Illustrated by Sol Linero: This book is seriously SO cute! Each page highlights one item for each state in a certain category. So the first page has 50 animals–one for each state. Then there are 50 things that go, 50 things to eat, 50 ways to get moving, and 50 celebrations. Each item has a cute illustration and one sentence that gives a basic description of what it is. The back page shows each state’s shape and it even includes a puzzle! Seriously, this book is adorable! It’s jam packed with fun info and will keep you busy and learning for hours!
- The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 Fact-Filled Maps by Gabrielle Balkan & Illustrated by Sol Linero: This book has a two-page spread for each state FULL of interesting information. There’s an introduction, key facts, important places, animals, main cities, people to remember, dates/events to know, and more! Plus, it’s set-up in a fun, engaging way for little minds. I LOVE this book! They also have some accompanying items, like an activity book, flashcards, and i-Spy. I don’t have any of those items, so I can’t vouch for them. But I added them all to my Amazon wishlist!
- Smart about the Fifty States: A Class Report: This cute book is set-up to look like a class report on the states. Each page features a state, highlighting some important facts about it. It’s a cute book!
Books About America
- Sweet Land of Liberty by Callista Gingrich & Illustrated by Susan Arciero: This is a cute rhyming book that teaches about some big events in American history. This was one of my very favorites!
- America is…by Louise Borden & Illustrated by Stacey Schuett: This book is a celebration of all that America is–how it came to be, what it stands for, who lives here, and more. This book is beautiful!
- Wonders of the USA: A Shine-a-Light Book by Carron Brown & Bee Johnson: In this fun book, you’ll learn about some important US landmarks. But what makes this book EXTRA special is the shine-a-light portion! You read this book in the dark using a flashlight. When you shine the flashlight behind each page, you’ll be able to see more of the picture! This book is SO MUCH FUN and is sure to be a bedtime hit!
- 50 Cities of the U.S.A. by Gabrielle Balkan & Illustrated by Sol Linero: This is a companion book to The 50 States mentioned above, but this one highlights major US cities. Each two-page spread beautifully illustrates and delivers facts about these cities–important events and people, facts, what a day is like there, and more. This book is SO much fun! I want to spend hours in it myself!
Books About American Things
- L is for Liberty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison & Illustrated by Laura Freeman Hines: This book teaches about the Statue of Liberty, what she stands for, and where she came from. It’s a fun way to learn about an important American symbol!
- If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier & Illustrated by Lynne Avril: I love the way this book approaches teaching about the president. It briefly covers past presidents, why someone would (or should) run for office, what they do during their campaign, how the election process works, Inauguration Day, and more. I also love that it discusses some of the harsher realities of being president–reporters digging up your past, being really busy, and lots of travel. This is definitely a fun book to teach kids the basics of running for president.
- F is for Flag by Wendy Cheyette Lewison & Illustrated by Barbara Duke: This is just like L is for Liberty, but this one teaches all about the history of the American flag. It has lots of good info, but is broken down simply so it’s easy for kids to take in.
Great Stories Featuring America
- Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio & Illustrated by LeUyen Pham: I loved this book! This story follows Grace, a little girl who decides to run for class president after learning there has never been a female US president. The class election mimics the presidential election process, so it’s a great way to teach kids about that process in a fun way. Plus, it addresses voting for the best candidate, not who’s the most popular. It’s a really cute story!
- Enzo and the Fourth of July Races by Garth Stein & Illustrated by R.W. Alley: I loved this book! It’s about a little girl and her dad who are each entering car races for the Fourth of July. The little girl is the only girl entering the race and, after overhearing some boys saying she’ll never win, decides to back out of the race. After some car issues, her dad decides not to race also. But then they learn some new skills specific to the 4th of July track and decide to race anyway. The girl’s dog narrates the book and it’s just adorable! This is a great story to teach kids about believing in yourself and also about being kind and befriending people who aren’t always nice to you.
Best Books About America
After reading around 50 books about America, these are the ones I think are the best! They’re fun and beautifully illustrated books that have good messages and teach in a way kids will actually enjoy.
What’s your favorite Fourth of July book?
For more Holiday Book suggestions, check out these posts:
- 18 Best Books About Dads
- 12 Best Valentine’s Day Books
- 12 Best St. Patrick’s Day Books
- 21 Easter Books to Read This Year