Books by Theme

You Count!

Why is counting important? It tells how many, allows people to sort related things into groups. Also, counting and sorting just may help us think about things differently. What can be counted? Everything! The Census counts the number of people in the United States. These numbers determine how many representatives each state sends to the U.S. Congress, help to plan for emergencies by determining where people live, and much more. Take a look at how places change, look at the U.S. as a small village, and find out more about where you and others live in the United States.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Anno's Counting Book

By: Mitsumaso Anno
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

As a barren landscape begins to fill with people, trees, buildings, and more, readers can count the changes beginning with zero. The increasingly detailed, handsome watercolors encourage readers to counting and sort during the evolution of the countryside, much like the United States census.

How Many Snails? A Counting Book

By: Paul Giganti
Illustrated by: Donald Crews
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Some U.S. Census workers walk from place to place to count people. Readers are invited to take a walk through the pages of this book to count everything from snails to fire trucks! Straightforward text combines with brilliantly hued, crisp illustrations for an appealing counting (and sorting) game that will be read and examined many times.

How Much is a Million?

By: David Schwartz
Illustrated by: Steven Kellogg
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

There are millions of people living in the United States, but the numbers are much too large to really understand, aren’t they? With the help of a mathematical magician, understandable comparisons, and animated, humorous, and engaging illustrations, huge numbers become more child-friendly and downright understandable.

If America Were a Village: A Book About the People of the United States

By: David Smith
Illustrated by: Shelagh Armstrong
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

If all of the 300 million people were simply one village of 100 people, its diversity is easier to understand. That's just what the author has done to make the complex make-up of the U.S. residents (in terms of languages spoken, ages, and more). Colorful illustrations accompany the understandable text. Additional resources complete the book. If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World’s People, also by Smith, looks at the inhabitants of the world as a village to allow its diversity to become more understandable for adults and children.

Me on the Map

By: Joan Sweeney
Illustrated by: Annette Cable
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The United States is a big place which holds many children and their families. Maps and what they show are introduced by a girl who begins with a drawing of her room in her home. The house is then placed on a street, in a town, etc. until we see the U.S. as part of the world. This accessible book may help children understand their place on the map — and in the census.


By: Ann Jonas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A child wonders just how many are in her pond. But it takes a keen eye and good counting skills to keep up with that number. Some inhabitants stay in plain view while others go in and out of the water — a process similar to counting the residents of the United States!

The Family Book

By: Todd Parr
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

What does the U.S. Census count? Among other things it counts families! Each is different but they are also alike in many ways. A variety of families and their pets are introduced in boldly colored, child-like illustrations and lighthearted glimpse at different kinds of families who all celebrate, laugh, and love.

The Little House

By: Virginia Burton
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

As seasons and years pass, a sturdy little house that witnesses her bucolic rural setting evolve into a bustling city The beautiful little house became lonely and dilapidated until someone notices her and returns the house to the country. This appealing Caldecott Medalist can be enjoyed on several levels, including a comment on the urbanization of America.

Unite or Die! The Story of the Thirteen Colonies

By: Jacqueline Jules
Illustrated by: Jef Czekaj
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Though the first U.S. Census didn't start until 1790, the Forest Lake Elementary School elementary children put on a play that lays the historical foundation for it. The kids (sporting shapes of the original 13 states) dramatize the problems faced after the American Revolution which were resolved by the 1787 Constitutional Convention. This entertaining look at the county’s start is sure to engage and inspire further research.

United States Atlas for Young Explorers (Third Edition)

By: National Geographic Society
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Explore the entire United States or focus on your state or region in this clearly laid out, handsomely illustrated atlas. Take a look at the parts of the country that have the greatest population as well as areas to which people move and much more. Additional information is available on a special National Geographic website.

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