12 Presidential Books for the Classroom

Demystify and celebrate the distinguished individuals that have served in our country’s highest office

Celebrate Presidents’ Day with a slate of recent books that demystify and celebrate the distinguished individuals that have served in our country’s highest office.

1. Dear Mr. Washington 
By Lynn Cullen, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Best for: Grades K-4

A charming story centered around George Washington’s correspondence with young Charlotte Stuart and her siblings. As her father (prominent painter Gilbert Stuart) attempts to paint Washington’s portrait, the children’s shenanigans throw the process off course. This storybook is colorful, funny and full of calamity!


2. Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything
By Maira Kalman
Best for: Grades K-4

Thomas Jefferson, our third president, accomplished great things during his tenure as president of the United States, from writing the Declaration of Independence and doubling the size of the US with the Louisiana Purchase, to establishing the Library of Congress. He was widely renowned as a true Renaissance man- interested in music, language, science, nature, math and architecture. Maira Kalman’s alluring text and dazzling illustrations bring this president’s remarkable, complicated personality to life for young readers.

3. Abe Lincoln: His Wit and WIsdom From A-Z
By Alan Schroeder Illustrated by John O’Brien
Best for: Grades K-2

This clever book focuses on our popular 16th president in an alphabet book format. Included is a wealth of information about the life and accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln from childhood through his early career to his tenure as president.

4. Who Was Theodore Roosevelt? 
By Michael Burgan, illustrated by Jerry Hoare and Nancy Harrison
Best for: Grades 3-7

Tedddy Roosevelt had many “firsts” in his career as our 26th president. In addition to being the youngest president ever elected, he was also the first sitting president to win the Nobel Peace Prize, to ride in an automobile, and  to fly in an airplane! In addition to his accomplished presidency, TR was also famous for being a naturalist, hunter, explorer, author, and soldier.

5. President Taft is Stuck in the Bath
By Mac Barnett, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Best for: Grades PreK-2

This humorous tale, with its over-the-top illustrations, is a hilarious re-telling of a true story from the presidency of portly president William Howard Taft. Follow along as the author conjures up a parade of clueless cabinet members advising the flustered president, leading up to an uproarious finale.

6. Who Was Woodrow Wilson?
By Margaret Frith, illustrated by Andrew Thomson and Nancy Harrison
Best for: Grades 3-7
Who Was Woodrow Wilson?

Former professor, university president and governor of the state of New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson served two terms as president during a tenuous time in our country’s history. He was a born leader with progressive ideas who lived a life of magnificent accomplishment as well as heart-breaking personal tragedy.


7. Nice Work, Franklin! 
By Suzanne Tripp Jurmain, illustrated by Larry Day
Best for: Grades K-4

A man of tremendous personal fortitude, Franklin Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented four terms as the president of the United States. Famously stubborn, with strong humanitarian views, FDR served our country in times of worldwide economic depression and war. His accomplishments as president largely redefined the role of government in our country.

8. U.S. Presidents: The Oval Office All-Stars
By Dan Green, illustrated by Simon Basher
Best for: Grades 5-9

A wildly irreverent and original look at the history of the occupants of the highest office in the land, Basher History US Presidents showcases the nation’s leaders as you’ve never seen them before. Every president is presented in first person and speaks directly to the reader in their own unique way. A hip, imaginative look at the accomplishments and personalities of our presidents.

9. Rutherford B. Who Was He?
By Marilyn Singer and John Hendrix
Best for: Grades 4 and up

A fun collection of sassy, illustrated verse that takes a new look at the 43 American presidents. Packed with facts and historical references as well as human interest elements, the rhythmic, rhyming verse is sure to amuse and inform everyone who reads this book.

10. What Presidents Are Made Of 
By Hanoch Piven
Best for: Grades 3-5

A visually amazing book that weaves anecdotes of the charismatic personalities of some of our prominent presidents with whimsical collages made of everyday objects such as  jelly beans, hot dogs, bullets, and more.

11. So You Want to be President
By Judith St. George, illustrated by David Small
Best for: Grades 2-5

A Caldecott award winner packed with fun and interesting trivia about the many fascinating individuals that have held the highest office in our country. This book takes some of the mystery out of the presidency and inspires kids to believe that anyone can grow up to be president!

12. The Big Book of Presidents 
By Nancy J. Hajeski
Best for: Grades 3-7

This book is a fun and fascinating overview of the intriguing, exciting and sometimes scandalous lives of our country’s forty-four leaders thus far. Follow each president’s journey to the White House and beyond through facts, stories, graphics and illustrations. This edition also includes timelines of US and world events to place each president’s term in office in historical context as well as plentiful facts about the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court.

What are your favorite stories to share for Presidents’ Day?

12 Presidential Books for Kids


Elizabeth Mulvahill

Posted by Elizabeth Mulvahill

Elizabeth Mulvahill is a Writer/ Editor for WeAreTeachers and a certified Elementary Teacher.