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Celebrate America

Celebrate America with this list of recommended books for children ages 0-9. Cozy up with your kid and read about real and legendary heroes and heroines, revisit classic songs, and follow the adventures of travelers across 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

Apple Pie 4th of July

By: Janet Wong
Illustrated by: Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

"No one wants to eat Chinese food on the Fourth of July," says a young girl to her parents who insist on keeping their Chinese restaurant open on Independence Day. An honest portrayal of the tug between traditions old and new, as well as what it really means to be American.

Casey at the Bat

By: Ernest Thayer, Christopher Bing
Illustrated by: Christopher Bing, Ernest Thayer
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ernest Thayer's now-classic ballad about Mudville's mighty slugger has been newly and magnificently illutrated by Christopher Bing. The story is rendered as though it had been newly discovered in a hundred-year-old scrapbook. A Caldecott Honor Book.

Celebrate Independence Day with Parades, Picnics, and Fireworks

By: Deborah Heiligman
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Celebrate the birthday of the United States with food and fun while learning the history and meaning behind the various festivities. Elegant, crisp color photographs are sourced as is the information provided in this examination of an all-American day.

God Bless America

By: Irving Berlin, Lynn Munsinger
Illustrated by: Lynn Munsinger
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

A bear family raises an American flag before they travel to New York City, Washington, DC, and points in between. Ultimately they return to their own "home sweet home" wrapped in a cozy bear hug. First published in 1938, the classic song "God Bless America" is illustrated in this unabashedly patriotic picture book in a humorous but respectful way. Designed to inspire and enlighten, the book is also accompanied by a CD of the song performed by Barbara Streisand.

Happy Birthday, America

By: Mary Pope Osborne, Peter Catalanotto
Illustrated by: Peter Catalanotto
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Realistic watercolors present the summer celebration a boy shares with his family on the 4th of July. The day's activities range from a pet parade and games to a barbeque and concert. The patriotic performance concludes with fireworks, after which the family returns home, tired but happy. The story is inspired by an actual community gala.

Hats Off for the Fourth of July

By: Harriet Ziefert, Gustaf Miller
Illustrated by: Gustaf Miller
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Parades are part of the fun of any Fourth of July celebration. Young readers are invited to join the fun of this down-home parade, told with a jaunty rhythm and rhyme. Animated illustrations literally parade across the pages to a sparkling conclusion.

Hurray for the Fourth of July

By: Wendy Watson
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Celebrate America's birthday with a family in a small town. Animated and often funny illustrations and verse present this special day's activities starting with a read, white, and blue breakfast and culminating with fireworks.

John, Paul, George and Ben

By: Lane Smith
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Fact and fiction, old and new styles of illustration, wit and seriousness combine in this pithy, lighthearted look at four luminaries in American history. Only mature readers will appreciate the title's name play but are sure to chuckle at the take on John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington and Ben Franklin. Fact is clearly differentiated from fun at book's end.

Red, White, and Boom!

By: Lee Wardlaw
Illustrated by: Huy Voun Lee
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

From one end of the United States to the other, the 4th of July is celebrated: on beaches, with parades, picnics, and of course fireworks. Cut paper collage combine with appealing, rhyming, short poetry to re-create the heat and rhythm of summer and the pleasure in its goings-on.

Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett

By: Steven Kellogg
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

How could anybody ever stand up to a larger-than-life husband like Davy Crockett? Once readers meet Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, they'll understand and long remember this extraordinary companion to the other legendary Crockett. Kellogg's exaggerated illustrations are a riotously funny complement to this tall tale.

Shhh! We're Writing the Constitution

By: Jean Fritz
Illustrated by: Tomie dePaola
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Long ago in 1787, a group of men known as the Founding Fathers of the United States met in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. (It's now a national park.) There they discussed, argued, and finally agreed upon a document that still in use today — the U.S. Constitution. Their story is told with verve and humor in this playful book.

Stars and Stripes: The Story of the American Flag

By: Sarah Thomson, Bob Dacey
Illustrated by: Bob Dacey
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The American flag, known as the Stars and Stripes, is seen everywhere. In this book, lifelike paintings from different perspectives show many landscapes with the flag. Readers learn how the flag came to be the way it is known today, and an afterword dispels the myth that Betsy Ross made the first American flag.

The Flag We Love

By: Pam Muñoz Ryan, Ralph Masiello
Illustrated by: Ralph Masiello
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Read this book aloud to young readers to teach them about the United States flag, its history, and meaning. The short verse, historical tidbits, and realistic illustrations result in a brief, moving, and patriotic look at this American symbol.

They Called Her Molly Pitcher

By: Anne Rockwell, Cynthia von Buhler
Illustrated by: Cynthia von Buhler
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When her husband followed George Washington into battle during the war for independence, Mary "Molly" Hays followed her husband, gaining the name Molly Pitcher by carrying water to the thirsty men on the battlefield. When she took up her wounded husband's position firing the cannon, a legend was born. The illustrations depict sturdy figures and fierce battles in this dramatic account.

This Land is Your Land

By: Woodie Guthrie, Kathy Jakobsen
Illustrated by: Kathy Jakobsen
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Guthrie's folk song begins a journey across the United States. Highly detailed, richly colored illustrations done in folk art style encourage readers to follow Woodie as he travels from coast to coast. A concluding note by Pete Seeger is informative, putting the period and person into an historical context.

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