Your Favorite Historical Picture Books For Children

Oct 2014
California, USA
As a homeschooling mom who wants to teach history primarily through literature, I'd love it if you would share your favorite historical books for children, both picture books and chapter books. Right now I'm especially looking for easy story books filled with pictures and light on text for my 6 year old. But I'm interested in books for older kids for later too--any era, any historical topic!


R5 plus

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
Home of Ringing Rocks
My #1 recommendation:

DK Eyewitness books

Moving away from "serious" history reading, but still learning about history:

Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton Series- Mice who go on adventures to interesting places.

Magic Treehouse Series - About two children who go back in time to different historic places and time periods.

Little House on the Prairie series - does this one need an explanation? ;)

The Imagination Station Series - haven't actually looked at these closely myself, but 9 year old likes them a lot. I think it's another going back in time to different places type of series.

21 Balloons (one of my favorite books ever!) - A guy who sets out to travel around the world in his balloon but ends up on Krakotoa before it blows. Not heavily historic, but you still learn some things about early balloon travel.

If you have a girl, American Girl series might be of interest, my girls never seemed interested in these (so far).

There is a series out there that I thought way too graphic for young children, but it's available in the 7 - 12 year old section of the bookstore. Can't remember the name of the series right now. If I find it, I'll come back and post it.

That's a start...

ADD ON: Found it! The I Survived series. I thought it was too graphic for younger kids, but it's targeted at that younger age group. If you see it, you can decide for yourself.
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R5 plus

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
Home of Ringing Rocks
The Missing Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix - probably for ages 9 or 10 and up. Kids missing from historic points in time, all being raised as modern kids. I forget why, but they start getting sent back - the first two are princes from England who "died" mysteriously (in real life), but no! Now we find out they've been living a normal life in USA suburbia (fictionally speaking).

R5 plus

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
Home of Ringing Rocks
Some of the Flat Stanley books may also fall into the historical category.

We don't currently have a lot of "historical" picture books, so can't recommend many. It's hard to find ones with the right blend of accuracy and readability, especially if they are about a person/people, or a historical event.

One that someone gave us that I've lent to teachers is:

Bridges are to Cross by Philemon Sturges, illustrated by Giles Laroche. It's about, wait for it...bridges! All over the world from different time periods.

If you're near a National Park that has a gift store, you might try looking in there and speaking to the people working there for some recommendations as well.

Since you're homeschooling, you may already be planning on historical field trips. That's a great way to share history with kids. Check out special activities at historic sites that allow kids lots of hands-on activities and also science museums often involve a lot of history (including the buildings they are housed in sometimes). We have a science museum membership that reciprocates with other science museums throughout the country, allowing us to get into many places for free. Three of my favorites were the Space and Rocket Museum in Huntsville, AL, the Virginia Science Museum in Richmond, VA, and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA.
Mar 2014
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
I won't recommend a specific title (too many genres!) but practically every bookstore I walk into has something along the line of what you seek in the clearance bin. Heavy on pictures, light on text.

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