Professor: President’s Day Books for Kids of All Ages

Kids of all ages can celebrate President’s Day through books that explore past presidents, what it’s like to live at the White House, and even presidential pets.

“Presidents and their lives are popular book subjects,” said Cindy Welch, associate director of UT’s Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. “These recommended books feature presidential trivia, art, satire, graphic novels, and even something from the Smithsonian archives.”

Grab your own future presidential candidate and spend some time reading together.

Preschool

Duck for President by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin. Duck is sure he can run the farm better than Farmer Brown so he decides to run for office.

When Penny Met POTUS by Rachel Ruiz, illustrated by Melissa A. Manwill. Penny goes to work with her mom, who works at the White House, and discovers just what a POTUS actually is.

Grades 1–3

Madam President by Lane Smith. A young girl imagines what her day would be like if she was president.

The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems about the Presidents by Susan Katz, illustrated by Robert Neubecker. This book features 44 short poems that share fun presidential facts.

So You Want to be President by Judith St. George, illustrated by David Small. Although it only gets to George W. Bush, this is a fun collection of anecdotes about past presidents.

Grades 4–6

What Presidents Are Made Of by Hanoch Piven. This is an artistic look at presidential attributes, using everything from toy cannons to mittens to feathers to create collages of presidents up to Bill Clinton.

Where Do Presidents Come From? And Other Presidential Stuff of Super Great Importance by Michael Townsend. An amusing graphic novel take on presidential facts, elections, the White House, and what happens after their terms in office.

Grades 7–9

The Smithsonian Book of the First Ladies: Their Lives, Times, and Issues edited by Edith P. Mayo. From Martha Washington to Hilary Clinton, this is a collection of brief portraits of the lives and causes of America’s first ladies.

Pets at the White House: 50 Years of Presidents and Their Pets by Jennifer B. Pickens. From the Kennedy years through the Obama administration, a variety of pets have lived with the presidents and their families.

Grades 10–12

Prez by Mark Russell, illustrated by Ben Caldwell. This is first entry in a graphic novel satirical series about Beth Ross, an 18-year-old girl accidentally elected president of the United States.

CONTACT:

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)