HISTORY and SOCIAL STUDIES: Our Favorite Picture Book Read-alouds



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I read dozens of picture books every month with my three children (12, 10, 8). This list includes only the very best of the history and other social science books we read together (books we gave 4 or 5 stars). Note that the amount of text in these books varies greatly. Some are short and sweet with little text, and others might require multiple sittings to finish. We hope you enjoy all of these books as much as we have!

While all of these books are wonderful, I have starred (*) those books that were special favorites of all four of us. These starred books were picture books we checked out again and again from the library, or eventually purchased for ourselves, and are not to be missed. If you are looking for a book about a particular time or person I have not covered, check out the works of some of my very favorite authors about history: Cheryl Harness, Kathleen Krull, and Mike Venezia. They have never disappointed.

This list is continually updated (newest books at the top within categories)


Ancient History (not chronological, most recently added at the top)

Middle Ages



General World History (not chronological, most recently added at the top)


U.S. Revolutionary War 
(See this post for a more in depth description of 12 picture books about the Revolutionary War. There are so many amazing picture books about Revolutionary times. We really had trouble moving past this era!)

Corp of Discovery

California Gold Rush

U.S. Civil War & Slavery

Other U.S. History: Roughly Chronological

General U.S. History (these books cover many time periods)
See also Biography below

California History (not chronological, most recently added at the top)

New York City (not chronological, most recently added at the top)

Biography (see other pages for MathScience, and Poetry-related picture book biographies)


Read the World Challenge: Learning about Other Places & Cultures

Here are links to all our favorite picture book read-alouds by subject:

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