One of the best ways to teach children patriotism is to provide them with books that explain the history of freedom in American and teach them why America is a great country.
There are numerous books available that accomplish both those goals. Some of my favorite are published by Sleeping Bear Press. But since I've mentioned them several times lately I've decided to tell you about three other great books I've found.
America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates. Illustrated by Wendell Minor. Published by Putnam Books, 2003.
There are many pictorial versions of this famous song but this one is definitely a favorite of mine. The illustrations (watercolor paintings) capture the details and majesty that makes America's landscape so great.
Included at the back of the book is a U.S. map pinpointing the location of each illustration and a brief explanation as to why that place is special to America. Also included is a history of the song with brief biographies of the author and composer.
If you are looking for a book that captures the inspiring wonder of America - this is it!
I Pledge Allegiance by Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson. Illustrated by Chris Raschka. Published by Candlewick Press, 2002.
What's not to like about this book?! Each page contains a word or phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance. The authors then explain what that word or phrase means and why it's important to Americans.
My favorite page explains that the colors of the flag (red, white, and blue) stand for courage, purity and innocence, and loyalty and fairness. I didn't know that!
If you are looking for a book to teach children the importance of the American Pledge of Allegiance - this is it!
The Statue of Liberty by Lucille Recht Penner. Illustrated by Jada Rowland. Published by Scholastic, 1995.
Simple text explains the story of how Frederic Bartholdi designed and built the Statue of Liberty while simple illustrations help young readers imagine the process. I recommend this book for 3-8 year olds. Non-readers will enjoy listening to the story and looking at the pictures, while more advanced readers will have no trouble with the text.
I hope to take my children to see the Statue of Liberty later this year so this book is helping prepare us for that.
If you are looking for a book to share the history of one of our national landmarks with young children - this is it!
Those are my book recommendations for the 4th of July or Independence Day. I realize that they don't directly address WHY we celebrate on the 4th but they do inspire children to be patriots and believe in their country. We've enjoyed reading them at our house so I hope you enjoy reading them at yours.
What children's books do you recommend for the 4th of July or Independence Day?