8 Picture Books for Veterans Day

h is for honor

For nearly a century, our country has been honoring United States veterans on November 11. As this annual day of observance rolls around this time of year, some children may wonder why they have no school, or why mom or dad has the day off from work. These picture books are a great opportunity to share why we observe Veterans Day: A day on which we celebrate our American veterans and their patriotism, their willingness to serve, the sacrifices they have made, and their love of our country.

The Poppy Lady, by Barbara Walsh, illustrated by Layne Johnson
Based on a true story, this picture book follows Moina Belle Michael, a schoolteacher from Georgia who was determined to  find a way to honor and remember soldiers. Moina set out to make the poppy a symbol of remembrance; her determination paid off and today, the poppy is a familiar symbol of Veterans Day. With detailed drawings and information on the period surrounding world War I, this book is a powerful way to share with your child what it means to serve your country. Once you have read this book together, your little one will be spotting red poppies everywhere you go.

The Wall, by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ronald Himler
More than 58,000 names are on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. This picture book is about a young boy who travels to the wall with his father, in search of his grandfather’s name. As the boy looks for the name, he encounters a wheelchair-bound veteran visiting the wall too. The boy’s curiosity is overshadowed by his dad’s somber reason for visiting, but his questions will be the same as many of your child’s own questions as you read this story. Together you can explore the historical significance of the Vietnam War and pay tribute to its veterans.

America’s White Table, by Margot Theis Raven, illustrated by Mike Benny
This picture book helps to explore the significance of military service from the perspective of a family. When service members have fallen, are missing, or are held captive in the line of duty, a white table is set up in remembrance. Every item placed on the table is a symbol for understanding and appreciating the service these men and women have provided for the United States. This is an excellent book way to explain to children how we should take time to remember those who have died in service, and the sacrifices they have made for their country.

Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond Between a Soldier and His Service Dog, by Luis Carlos Montalvan and Bret Witter, photographs by Dan Dion
When a service member returns home from war, they sometimes suffer from injuries to their body, their mind, and their spirit. This story is about a service dog by the name of Tuesday who helps a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Based on a true story and told through the eyes of Tuesday, this picture book helps children understand the true day to day life of a returning veteran. The adorable pictures of Tuesday will be sure to please your child, while also providing an example of how service dogs can help veterans.

Veterans Day, by Mir Tamim Ansary
What happens on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of the year? This book will dive into the chronicle of Veterans Day with great detail. Perfect for little history buffs and parents who may need a refresher when your kids start asking you questions. Together you will find greater understanding of this important public holiday and why this day might just have special meaning for you and your family.

H is for Honor, by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Victor Juhasz
This alphabet picture book delves into everything military—from history, to the meaning of ranks and divisions, to what it is like to be a military child. Navy SEALS, Green Berets, and Army Rangers are written about in more detail, and pictures reveal what life on base is really like. Together, you and your child will discover the meaning of patriotism and have an opportunity to discuss courage and commitment. After this book, your little one may be interested in sending off a care package to a soldier overseas.

Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion, by Jane Barclay, illustrated by Renne Benoit
This inter-generational picture book uses figurative language to invoke the feeling of being at war. A boy and his Poppa recall the old man’s days of service and Poppa tells how he was as “proud as a peacock” and “as brave as a lion” as he was at war. More imaginary animals fill the room as they revisit the past and Poppa tells his feelings on being a veteran. As Poppa prepares for a veterans parade, the boy imagines the animals being there too. The boy’s love for his Poppa, paired with the reality of war and coupled with some fantasy features, gives us a memorable book honoring those the have fought and who continue to fight for our freedom.

Rags: Hero Dog of WWII, by Margot Theis Raven, illustrated by Petra Brown
Not all veterans of war are human, and this true story shows us how canines have been used as soldiers of war since World War I. Found on the streets of Paris by Private James Donovan, Rags was brought back to base and put to work. He learned to help clear trenches, deliver messages, and even salute! The muted illustrations show the dark time of war, but spare the reader from grim details. Dog lovers will enjoy learning about this furry war veteran and the capacity of one dog to be loyal to a country, as well as to the solder who took him in.

Follow B&N Kids Blog