What are the best picture books for Presidents Day? It can be tough finding actual quality literature about the presidents. Are you tired of reading the same book about Presidents’ Day? Looking to find a replacement to that one book you always read about George Washington or Abraham Lincoln? This list of my favorite picture books to read about the U.S. Presidents are perfect for elementary students. A good mix of both fiction and nonfiction books to engage your students in learning about presidents and our country’s political system.
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Check out the books:
The Next President
Did you know that at any one time, about 5-10 presidents both living, current and future are alive? I never thought about it that way, but that’s why Kate Messner is such an amazing author. Between this ingenious idea and Adam Rex’s thoughtful illustrations, students will see how when one person was president, others were growing up or getting ready to lead the country.
Get the lesson plan and activities for The Next President HERE
President Taft is Stuck in the Bath
Who knew that President Taft loved baths so much? This is a hilarious, account of the president based on what MAY be a true story. Your students will DIE laughing and you likely will too! Mac Barnett’s signature humor is in full effect for this story of how President Taft got stuck in a bath and was removed. At the end of the book, Barnett describes his inspiration for the story with several real life examples of his affinity for baths.
If you think that learning about presidents was dry and boring, this book will change your mind. Great for units on problem-solving and perspective.
Get your lesson plan and activities for President Taft is Stuck in the Bath HERE
Miss Paul and the President
This makes my list of the best picture books for Presidents Day because it also works as a great segue into March’s Women’s History Month. This book by Dean Robbins details how Alice Paul creatively campaigned for women’s suffrage. It fits in with Presidents Day because it focuses on how she convinced President Woodrow Wilson to push for the women’s vote.
This book is a great introduction to women’s suffrage and a lesser known president that even primary students can access.
Get your lesson plan and activities for Miss Paul and the President HERE
Grace For President
Kelly DiPucchio, who is also the author of Gaston and Antoinette, wrote this amazing picture book. Grace’s class is learning about the presidents and the voting process. Grace learns that not a single woman has ever been president and she wants to remedy that. Her class holds an election for class president.
This is a great introduction to the electoral college for grades 1-4. It also shows the importance of courage and not going along with the group.
Get your lesson plan and activities for Grace For President HERE
Grace Goes to Washington
This book is the sequel to Grace For President, and is just as enjoyable as the first. In this one, Grace’s class is learning about the branches of government and traveling to Washington D.C. On the trip they have the difficult task of deciding how to spend money from a fundraiser.
They visit many major monuments and debate how to use the funds. A great way to talk about the branches of government. It also shows how public servants decide how to spend public funds.
Duck For President
If your students love Doreen Cronin books like Click, Clack, Moo, then this is a great one for Presidents Day! One day, Duck decides that he doesn’t like his chores on the farm, so he campaigns to replace Farmer Brown. He holds an election and wins, however, being a farmer is hard work. Duck then runs for governor and finally for president. He realizes that running a country is rather difficult so he goes back to the farm.
This is a great book for K-2. It includes information about the electoral process and math appropriate for the lower grades. Even though it doesn’t contain information about the presidents, its focus on voting makes it a great introduction for primary.
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George Washington’s Teeth
Everyone thinks that our first president had wooden teeth. This book seeks to examine this myth using evidence from Washington’s letters and diaries. It follows him through history as he lost teeth until having only 2 real teeth. The entire story is told in verse making the book rather funny. A timeline is also included at the end of the book to show portraits of Washington over time. You will never look at a portrait of the Father of our Country the same ever again after reading this book.
Check out my lesson plan and activities for George Washington’s Teeth HERE
Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln
This is the newest book on the list, and I LOVE IT! It was the winner of the 2019 Pura Belpre Illustrator Award. Teresa was a young girl whose family needed to flea Venezuela due to war to come to the United States where they also were met with war: the Civil War. She studied the piano and published her first piano piece before she was even 10 years old! She became known as the Piano Girl, and she toured the world playing concerts. Her fame grew such that it earned her an invitation to play for the Lincolns at the White House. Teresa was nervous and wanted to play well to bring joy to the First Family after having just lost their son. A wonderful story about Abraham Lincoln, and one that is also excellent for Women’s History Month or Hispanic Heritage Month!
Check out my lesson plan and activities for Dancing Hands HERE
Sofia Valdez, Future Prez
Are you a fan of any of Andrea Beaty’s other Questioneers books like Iggy Peck, Architect or Rosie Revere, Engineer? This is another book in her series about a very helpful girl named Sofia Valdez. She is trying to create a park after her abuelo gets hurt one day. She organizes groups and goes to City Hall to try to create a park. This book relates to Presidents Day in that it shows kids what a good president needs to do. As with other books in the series, it is told in verse. Also amazing is that this book is also available in Spanish as Sofia Valdez, Presidenta Tal Vez.
Get your lesson plan and activities for Sofia Valdez, Future Prez HERE
Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers
Abraham Lincoln was the first President of the United States to wear a beard. What gave him the idea was a letter he received from an eleven-year-old girl from Westfield, New York named Grace Bedell. “Dear Sir,” she wrote, ” . . . if you will let your whiskers grow I will try to get (my brothers) to vote for you. You would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you . . .”
Abe Lincoln’s Hat
How do you remember things? President Abraham Lincoln used a special trick — he placed reminders under his top hat! Read all about it and more in this leveled reader perfect for President’s Day and for anyone looking to discover fun facts about one of our nation’s greatest presidents!
So You Want to be President?
A really great book that I might compare to The Next President (see above). This one is really good for upper elementary whereas The Next President works for many grade levels even down into primary. It was updated a few years ago, so it’s not as up to date as The Next President, but it’s still a great read!
Best Picture Books For Presidents Day
You’ll notice that I did not include some of the standard Presidents Day books that tend to focus on it being a holiday. I agree that these books do serve a purpose. However, I chose these to be on my list to be both informational and entertaining.
Is there one that you love that you think should be on this list? Let me know in the comments below!
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Nola Roth says
I appreciate your list of books. Very helpful. I teach 5th grade reading and am librarian
so I really appreciate you sharing your ideas.
No problem, Nola! I love finding new books and sharing them with whoever I can! I’m glad you liked the list!