For kids, Veterans Day may seem like just another day off from school. If your little one is curious as to why they have a day off or why mom/dad has to leave again, try reading one of these books to them. Hopefully, can help you answer some questions or open up the conversation with your kiddos. Either way, picture books are a great way to teach your child about national holidays!
The Poppy Lady
By Barbara Walsh, illustrated by Layne Johnson
Based on a true story, and set during World War I, the story follows Moina Belle Michael, a schoolteacher from Georgia.
Against all odds and in a day when women had few rights and opportunities Moina launched a national campaign to establish the red poppy as the symbol of sacrifice and courage of America’s soldiers.
Both children and adults will come to admire Moina’s courage and strength. Author Barbara Elizabeth Walsh and artist Layne Johnson worked with experts, primary documents, and Moina’s great-nieces to better understand Moina’s determination to honor the war veterans.
Hero Mom or Hero Dad
By Melinda Hardin, illustrated by Bryan Langdo
By Sandra Miller Linhart, illustrated by Tahna Marie Desmond
It’s Boot’s task to take Daddy where he’s needed, but it’s Daddy’s job to explain why. Boots say Daddy is getting ready to deploy, but Bean needs to know why Daddy is leaving, what he does while he’s away, and why Bean can’t go with him. Daddy is a soldier and his boots are preparing to take him away again. If Bean can hide Daddy’s boots will Daddy be able to stay?
Daddy explains to Bean the many things Daddy’s called to do, why his boots sometimes have to take him far away and how his work is really not so much different than other daddies’ jobs. Being deployed is a fact of life for soldiers of all military branches. Sometimes it means leaving little ones behind wondering why.
By Kate Messner, illustrated by Greg Ruth
Every Memorial Day in Washington, DC, more than a million veterans and their supporters gather for the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, a demonstration that pays tribute to the men and women of the US armed forces. This lyrical story honors the bravery and sacrifice of those American heroes — the ones who have returned home, and the ones who haven’t.
By Brenda Ehrmantraut, illustrated by Vicki Wehrman
When a soldier’s work takes him half-way around the world, he enlists the help of the North Star for a nightly game of catch with his son. Using the simple concept of playing catch, Ehrmantraut gives us a touching message about staying connected across the world. Night Catch is a timeless story that connects families while they are apart and offers comforting hope for their reunion.
H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet
By Devin Scillian, illustrated by Victor Juhasz
Written by the son of a career officer, this book explores the branches of the Armed Services and speaks from the heart about the honor, privileges and sacrifices of military families everywhere. Children will discover why drill sergeants have to be so tough, what it means to be patriotic and why we need Special Forces such as the Navy SEALS, the Green Berets and the Army Rangers.
With an underlying message of courage and commitment that every child can relate to, the book will be especially meaningful to those whose parents, siblings or other relatives serve in the Armed Forces.