With both Flag Day and the 4th of July soon approaching, now would be a great time to grab some children’s books about the American flag and share them with your kids.
In this post I have reviewed eight books about the American flag for kids that provide some great historical and social studies lessons on how our flag came to have its current design and where our flag is commonly displayed. Some of the books also include information about “The Star Spangled Banner,” the American national anthem that pays homage to our flag.
Note: For more patriotic activities, see my 4th of July activities page.
F Is for Flag by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
This is a good introduction to the American flag for kids ages 3-5. It tells kids some of the places they may see the flag, like at the library, the park, and on stamps. It tells how we see our flag in both happy times and sad times. And it explains that our flag represents our country and the people who live here. The book also gives some information about the making of the original American flag and how the flag has changed over the years.
The Flag We Love by Pam Muñoz Ryan
With rhyming text and bright illustrations, each spread in this book features a different context in which the American flag is used or displayed. Whether it be the daily raising of the flag on the schoolyard or the use of the flag to drape President Lincoln’s casket or the festive waving of flags at a Fourth of July parade, the American flag is an enduring symbol of the United States and a vibrant image of the country’s best intentions. Each spread features a simple, four-line poem describing one manner in which the flag is used. And at the bottom of each page is additional information that helps flesh out the context of the poem. Although the poems are short, the complexity of the vocabulary makes this book best suited for ages 5 and up.
America The Beautiful by Scholastic
This book is a photo-illustrated version of the song “America the Beautiful” that begins with “O beautiful for spacious skies. . . ” The images illustrate much of what makes America a wonderful place to live. Ages 4 and up.
Star Spangled Banner by Scholastic
This is a book is from the same series as “America the Beautiful” reviewed above. As such, it is a photo-illustrated version of the Star-Spangled Banner. Ages 4 and up.
The Pledge of Allegiance by Scholastic
This is another book is from the same series as “America the Beautiful” reviewed above. As such, it is a photo-illustrated version of the Pledge of Allegiance. Ages 4 and up.
The Star-Spangled Banner illustrated by Peter Spier
This book features the lyrics of the Star-Spangled Banner richly illustrated with historical accuracy by Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Peter Spier. Most readers will likely be familiar with the words to the first verse of the Star-Spangled Banner, but many may be surprised to read the lyrics to the two additional verses that are included in the book. In addition to the lyrics of America’s national anthem, the book features drawings of the American flag throughout history as it added stars when additional states joined the union. The back of the book also includes sheet music to Francis Scott Key’s lyrics and additional historical information about this beloved song. This book will be enjoyed by children ages 4 to 9.
Red, White, and Blue by John Herman
Most Americans are very familiar with the sight of the American flag. Americans even have several nicknames for their flag, including “Old Glory” and “Red, White, and Blue.” But where did our flag come from? How did it come to look as it does today? This book tries to answer these questions, and in the process provides a good history lesson about the founding of our nation. This book will be enjoyed by kids ages 5-9.
By the Dawn’s Early Light: The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner by Steven Kroll
This book tells the story of how Francis Scott Key came to write the poem that became America’s national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner. Key was a well-known Washington lawyer during the War of 1812 between England and the United States. He was called to help a friend who had been arrested by the British. In trying to help his friend, Key found himself stuck on a small boat watching the Battle of Baltimore between British and American forces. Key thought the Americans were likely to lose, but when the fighting was over, the Stars and Stripes was still flying and the British had been defeated. Key later penned a poem originally titled “The Defense of Fort McHenry,” but it soon became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The back of the book includes a photocopy of the original manuscript written by Key as well as music by J. Stafford Smith to accompany Key’s lyrics. This book is most appropriate for kids ages 6-10.
More 4th of July resources
More 4th of July posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- 4th of July Montessori activities
- Fireworks in a jar
- 4th of July sensory bin
- Sticky paper American flag craft
- 4th of July Printables Pack
- 4th of July do-a-dot printables
- 4th of July Bingo
- 4th of July Sudoku
- American flag printables