Every year on November 11, we remember all the people who have served in the United States and show them how much we care. It’s a common question for kids to wonder why they don’t go to school on this day, or why their parents don’t have to work. In these picture books, you can explain why Veterans Day is important: It’s a day to honor our American veterans for their patriotism, willingness to serve, sacrifices they made, and love for their country.
The Poppy Lady, by Barbara Walsh, illustrated by Layne Johnson
Story: Moina Belle Michael, a teacher from Georgia, wanted to remember and honor the soldiers who served in World War II. This picture book tells that story. Moina set out to make the poppy a symbol of remembrance. Her hard work paid off, and today, the poppy is a common symbol of Veterans Day because of it. As a parent, you can use this book to show your child what it means to serve your country. It has detailed drawings and a lot of information about the time before and after World War I. After you read this book together, your child will start to see red poppies all over the place.
The Wall, by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ronald Himler
On the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., there are more than 58,000 names of people who served in the Vietnam War. Young boy and his father go to the wall in this picture book in search of the name of his grandfather. As the boy looks for the name, he meets a wheelchair-bound veteran who is also at the wall. 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 learn about the history 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 people understand the value of military service from the point of view of a family. When service members die, are missing, or are being held hostage in the line of duty, a white table is set up to remember them. Everything on the table is a way to understand and thank the men and women who served the United States. This is a great way to teach kids about how we should 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
The body, mind, and spirit can all be hurt when a service member comes home from war. People who have post-traumatic stress disorder can get help from dogs. This story is about one called Tuesday, who helps a veteran who has it. This picture book is based on a true story and told through the eyes of Tuesday. It helps kids understand what it’s like to be a returning soldier. Tuesday’s pictures are sure to make your child smile, while also giving an example of how service dogs can help people who have served in the armed forces.
Celebrate Veterans Day, by Melissa Ferguson
With this picture book, you can teach your child about Veterans Day’s history. It has facts and definitions, and it’s a good way to start. There is no better way to honor those who have served their country than to teach your kids about what those people did for their country.
H is for Honor, by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Victor Juhasz
In this alphabet picture book, you’ll learn about everything military. You’ll learn about history, the meaning of ranks and divisions, and what it’s like to be a military child in this book. More about Navy SEALs and Green Berets as well as pictures that show what life is like on base. Together, you and your child will learn about patriotism and have a chance to talk about courage and commitment. Then, your child might want to send a care package to a soldier who is away from home.
Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion, by Jane Barclay, illustrated by Renne Benoit
This picture book is for people of all ages, and it uses figurative language to make people feel like they’re at war. In this story, a boy and his Poppa talk about the old man’s time in service. Poppa tells how the old man was “proud as a bird” and “as brave as a lion” when he was at war. As they look back on the past and Poppa talks about how he feels about being a veteran, more imaginary animals start to fill the room. This is how the boy imagines that the animals would be there with Poppa as he gets ready for a veterans parade: In this book, the boy’s love for his Poppa, the reality of war, and a few fantasy elements make it a great way to remember those who have fought for our freedom.
Rags: Hero Dog of WWII, by Margot Theis Raven, illustrated by Petra Brown
This true story shows us how dogs have been used as soldiers of war since World War I. Rags was found on the streets of Paris by Private James Donovan. He was brought back to the base and put to work, like a soldier. In school, he learned how to help clear trenches, deliver messages, and even salute. Show the dark times of war, but don’t tell the reader about the sad parts. It will be fun for dog lovers to learn about this war veteran and how one dog can be loyal to a country and the soldier who took him in.
This picture book shows different mothers who have served in our military and have been deployed. Their moms are superheroes to the kids in the book who read about them, too. When your students look at the pictures, they will see a lot of different military jobs. With only one sentence on each page, this is a great book to read to young children. The author also wrote Hero Dad, which is a picture book about military fathers like Hero Dad.