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Presidents in Picture Books

Posted 09/14/20 by Eric P

As a country without any official royalty of its own (Beyonce notwithstanding), the United States of America has always been preoccupied – even infatuated – with presidents and their families.

It is, therefore, not news that there’s no shortage of reading material about the presidency, especially during an election year. But you may be surprised – I was, anyway – at how many kids’ picture books about presidents there are.

(But there are almost no picture books about Senators or Attorneys General! C’mon, publishing industry. Thirty thousand picture books about bears but not a single one about county auditors?)

Many presidential picture books revolve around fictional occupants of the executive branch and the fictional kids who meet them – or are them.

Cover of Grace for President

Grace for President

book   |   ebook
Cover of When Penny Met POTUS

When Penny Met POTUS

Cover of Mr President Goes to School

Mr President Goes to School

Cover of Madam President

Madam President

Cover of Madeline at the White House

Madeline at the White House

Cover of Arthur Meets the President

Arthur Meets the President

Cover of President Pennybaker

President Pennybaker

Cover of Now Hiring: White House Dog

Now Hiring: White House Dog

And some books involve animals and other creatures who aspire to the presidency, or achieve it, but don’t let these books fool you: according to the Constitution, dogs, lions, Muppets, and aquatic invertebrates are not eligible to be president. Unless they serve in the House of Representatives first.

Cover of Snoopy for President

Snoopy for President

Cover of The President of the Jungle

The President of the Jungle

Cover of Woodrow for President

Woodrow for President

Cover of President Squid

President Squid

Cover of Buddy for President

Buddy for President

Cover of Dubs Runs for President

Dubs Runs for President

Cover of I Want to be President

I Want to be President

And then there are the picture books that feature actual American presidents. Not surprisingly, there are quite a few with George Washington, ‘cause you know how that guy is, he’s always gotta be first with everything:

Cover of John, Paul, George and Ben

John, Paul, George and Ben

Cover of Dear Mr Washington

Dear Mr Washington

Cover of George Washington’s Birthday

George Washington’s Birthday

Cover of George Washington’s Cows

George Washington’s Cows

Cover of Take the Lead, George Washington!

Take the Lead, George Washington!

Cover of The House That George Built

The House That George Built

Cover of The Escape of Oney Judge

The Escape of Oney Judge

Cover of Independence Cake

Independence Cake

Cover of Hanukkah at Valley Forge

Hanukkah at Valley Forge

Maybe even less surprising is the number of picture books with Abraham Lincoln, not including the children’s classic “The Cat in the Stovepipe Hat,” which I just made up.

Cover of Abe Lincoln’s Dream

Abe Lincoln’s Dream

Cover of Abe’s Honest Words

Abe’s Honest Words

Cover of Just in Time, Abraham Lincoln

Just in Time, Abraham Lincoln

Cover of Hope’s Gift

Hope’s Gift

Cover of Abe’s Fish

Abe’s Fish

Cover of How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln

How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln

Cover of A. Lincoln and Me

A. Lincoln and Me

Cover of Finding Lincoln

Finding Lincoln

Cover of Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek

Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek

Cover of Mr Lincoln’s Whiskers

Mr Lincoln’s Whiskers

Cover of Abe Lincoln: His Wit and Wisdom from A to Z

Abe Lincoln: His Wit and Wisdom from A to Z

Cover of Abe Lincoln: the Boy Who Loved Books

Abe Lincoln: the Boy Who Loved Books

Now, Washington and Lincoln, you expect a lot of books about them. They have monuments and cities and cars named after them. But would anyone have predicted that there would be more than one picture book featuring that beloved children’s character President William Howard Taft?

Cover of President Taft is Stuck in the Bath

President Taft is Stuck in the Bath

Cover of The President and Mom’s Apple Pie

The President and Mom’s Apple Pie

A more natural fit for children’s literature might be Teddy Roosevelt, who combines the bumptious brashness of Mo Willems’s Pigeon with the facial hair of the late Wilford Brimley.

Cover of To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt

To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt

Cover of You’re On Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt!

You’re On Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt!

Cover of Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt!

Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt!

And then there are the rest of the presidents, or as the guy who made Mount Rushmore liked to call them, “Those guys I don’t have time for.”

Cover of Breakfast at the Liberty Diner

Breakfast at the Liberty Diner

Cover of Jack’s Path of Courage: the Life of John F. Kennedy

Jack’s Path of Courage: the Life of John F. Kennedy

Cover of Hard Work but It’s Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter

Hard Work but It’s Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter

Cover of Parker Looks Up

Parker Looks Up

Cover of First Pup

First Pup

Cover of What Presidents Are Made Of

What Presidents Are Made Of

Cover of P is for President

P is for President

Cover of So You Want to be President

So You Want to be President

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Cover of The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About the Presidents

The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About the Presidents

Cover of Rutherford B., Who Was He? Poems About Our Presidents

Rutherford B., Who Was He? Poems About Our Presidents

Cover of Who Named His Pony Macaroni? Poems About the White House Pets

Who Named His Pony Macaroni? Poems About the White House Pets

Cover of The Buck Stops Here: The Presidents of the United States

The Buck Stops Here: The Presidents of the United States