45 Books About the Presidents

Learn more about the Presidents of the United States with these historical picture books and chapter books about American Presidents.

Picture Books

Yo Millard Fillmore!: (And All Those Other Presidents You Don’t Know) by Will Cleveland

Teach yourself the names of all of the presidents…in order! A crazy trip through the lineage of our nation’s leaders in a hilarious tale that makes sure you won’t forget a single one!

Make Your Mark, Franklin Roosevelt by Judith St. George

A wealthy childhood and life of opulence may have led Franklin Roosevelt to pursue the lifestyle of a gentleman, but a certain conversation became the turning point that helped this president decide he wanted to pursue a career in order to make a difference in the world. 

So You Want to be President? by Judith St. George

Updated to include the presidency of Barack Obama, this whimsical look at the journey of several presidents from childhood to the Oval Office will inspire and encourage young hopefuls to keep dreaming big! 

Grover Cleveland, Again!: A Treasury of American Presidents by Ken Burns

Grover Cleveland was president, left office for a bit, and then returned to the White House once more! He was the only leader of our nation to serve two nonconsecutive terms. Each colorful spread has a strip of fun facts on the side to bring further interest to the life of this president. 

Presidential Pets by Julia Moberg

Alligators in the bathtub? Tigers in the Oval office? Learn all about the weird, wacky, and wonderful pets loved by presidents and their families through the years. 

President Adams’ Alligator and Other White House Pets by Peter W. Barnes

Not every president had a dog traipsing through the White House. Instead, many presidents were the owners of some crazy and exotic pets! This book will introduce you to some of the animals that have lived as First Pets throughout history. 

George Washington and the General’s Dog by Frank Murphy

General George is dodging bullets in the American Revolution when he sees a dog through the smoke. Who does the dog belong to? How can he keep him safe? Young readers will enjoy this little-known true story about the nation’s first president.

P is for President by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

Perfect for early readers, this book touches on the process of getting elected to the highest office in the country. Stories of some of our country’s most notable leaders are introduced in an engaging and simple way. 

To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Doreen Rappaport 

Teddy Roosevelt was a child who was often sick, but his weakness in childhood inspired him to grow up to be someone who would change the world with his strength of spirit. This rough-riding president accomplished many notable things during his time in office such as the establishment of our national parks, cutting down big businesses, and engaging the average citizen. 

The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock

At the turn of the century, President Theodore Roosevelt took a vacation to Yosemite. While camping in the gorgeous wilderness, he came to appreciate the area and wanted to protect it for generations to come. The result: the birth of our nation’s National Park system. 

The New Big Book of U.S. Presidents 2016 Edition by Running Press

Updated with all 45 presidents, this collection of photographs, facts, and notable events outline all of the presidencies thus far from George Washington all the way to Donald Trump. 

President Taft is Stuck in the Bath by Mac Barnett

Uh-oh! This hilarious story about the day that President William Taft couldn’t get out of the tub will be sure to get the giggles going. Read along as Taft’s wife, his staff, and his team of advisors all try to get the leader of the U.S. out of the bath and back to the Oval Office.  

Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters

Although he came from a humble start in life, Abraham Lincoln eventually rose to become president of the United States. The boy who wasn’t afraid of hard work, loved to read, and sought to obtain as much knowledge as possible ended up being a man who changed the world. 

Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America’s Presidents by David Stabler

Sometimes it’s good to remember that presidents are people too. Each of the men who have led our country throughout history have had sibling squabbles, broken bones, bullies, and friends at school. Read about the growing up years of our nation’s presidents. 

I am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Metzler

In a delightful, cartoon-style manner, this biography will encourage kids that an ordinary person can change the world. Tells the story of Lincoln’s life from boyhood to the White House. 

Lincoln and Grace: Why Abraham Lincoln Grew A Beard by Ann Kronheimer and Steve Metzger

One little girl who attended one of Lincoln’s speeches changed the well-known profile of this beloved president forever when she wrote him a letter suggesting that he grow a beard. Surprisingly, Lincoln listened to her advice, and the now-famous beard grew to be a part of his signature look. 

Nice Work, Franklin! by Suzanne Tripp

Even when polio struck FDR and he found himself unable to walk, this persistent man kept going. He ran for president from his wheelchair and won the office, working his way into the hearts of many and becoming a symbol of hope during the Great Depression. 

Abe Lincoln’s Hat by Martha Brenner

When you want to remind yourself to do something, do you write a note? Maybe tie a string around your finger? Abe Lincoln had a different method–keeping his notes and reminders in his large, black top hat. 

DK Eyewitness Books: First Ladies by DK

The leaders of the United States didn’t do the presidency alone. Standing beside them were the first ladies, a group of amazing women who spurred their husbands on and wielded great influence on society. Read about the strong women of the White House and view photographs of interesting items that belonged to them. 

Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers by Karen B. Winnick

11-year-old Grace Bedell wrote a letter to Mr. Lincoln telling him that she would convince her family members to vote for him if he would only grow a beard. So he did. Today that beard is part of Lincoln’s iconic look, memorialized forever on the penny and the $5 bill.  

Basher History US Presidents: Oval Office All-Stars by Simon Basher

Explore the terms of the presidents through the years, from George Washington all the way to Barack Obama. Each of the leaders speaks directly to the reader in his own voice, bringing them to life in a way that will keep you turning the pages. 

Two Miserable Presidents: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn’t Tell You About the Civil War by Steve Sheinkin

While the Civil War was raging all across the not-so-United-States, two men were also fighting a battle of their own: the battle for the presidency of the nation. Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis both claimed the title, and both had supporters strongly backing them. The war itself would decide. 

John, Paul, George, and Ben by Lane Smith

George Washington and the other founding fathers all had moments in childhood that later contributed to their role in leading our country on its journey to democracy. See how George’s honesty led him to the presidency, Hancock’s large scrawl led to a signature signing of the Declaration, and Revere’s strong lungs allowed him to warn of a British invasion. Take a hilarious trip through the histories of these blundering boys who became influential men. 

Abe Lincoln’s Dream by Lane Smith

While on a White House tour, young Quincy finds herself face-to-face with the ghost of Lincoln. After updating him on the nation’s progress since his demise, Quincy gets the chance to ask the former president some burning questions of her own. 

The House that George Built by Suzanne Slade

The little-known story of how the White House came to be. George Washington held a contest to see who could create the best design for the great house. When he found one he liked, a blueprint was drawn up, and construction of the massive structure began. 

The Buck Stops Here: Presidents of the United States by Alice Provensen

Campaign slogans, current events, timelines, and notable moments of their political careers. All of these and more on each spread of the presidents of history on through to today! 

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock

Thomas Jefferson loved to read and he loved to collect books. His personal library eventually helped boost the collection of the Library of Congress! One of the slaves who worked in Jefferson’s Monticello home said he would sometimes see the president with twenty books all around him. Take a journey through a book and read about the important moments of Jefferson’s life that were influenced by his love of books. 

Teedie: The Story of Young Teddy Roosevelt by Don Brown

As a youngster, Theodore Roosevelt, affectionately known as “Teedie”, was sickly and weak. His difficult childhood did not prevent him from doing something with his life, however, and soon the boy with weak eyes and asthma rose to the presidency, creating a legacy that would live on forever.  

Chapter Books

Who Was Richard Nixon? by Megan Stine

From victorious election to shameful end; learn all about this most unpopular former president from his childhood, military career, and the scandal that rocked his term. 

Who Was Abraham Lincoln? by Janet Pascal

Born to a poor farming family in Illinois, Lincoln had only one year of formal schooling. But his insatiable thirst for learning drove him to teach himself to continue to gain knowledge through reading as much as possible. When he was elected president during a tumultuous time in history, he led the nation from war back to the great United States. 

Who Was Andrew Jackson? by Douglas Yacka

Seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, was a military man who also served as part of the U.S. Congress two times. He was a driving force behind the fight to remove Native Americans from their homeland, but also chose to adopt two Native American children. He was, in many ways, a man whose life was full of inconsistencies that seemed to remain blind spots to Jackson throughout his life.  

Who Was Ulysses S. Grant? by Megan Stine

Civil War general and hero Ulysses S. Grant didn’t grow up envisioning a life in the military. Instead, he was actually afraid of going to war and hoped to avoid it altogether. But when his country was in desperate need of him, Grant decided to become the leader that would eventually lead to the end of the war and two successful presidential terms. 

Who Was George Washington? by Roberta Edwards

George Washington, first president of the United States, was dubbed ‘Father of Our Country’ for his leadership during the birth and baby years of our new nation. A bold military career took him through two wars and eventually into the highest office in the land. Today, his legacy is remembered every time we pick up a dollar bill. 

Who Was Franklin Roosevelt? by Margaret Frith

Left crippled by polio and unable to walk, Franklin Roosevelt could have given in to self-pity and spent the rest of his life feeling sorry for himself. Instead, he decided that his physical limitations were not going to hinder his chance make a difference. He had the difficult task of leading our nation through the Great Depression and WWII, but his leadership is what got him elected four different times! 

Who Was Theodore Roosevelt? by Michael Burgan

Teddy Roosevelt was known as a bit of a “rough-rider”, and especially when it came to improving the state of our nation, President Roosevelt did not shy away. 

Who Was Woodrow Wilson? by Margaret Frith

Woodrow Wilson was a professor, state governor, and leader of our nation during the “war to end all wars” (WWI). After the war ended, he worked to create a League of Nations, hoping to keep the peace and prevent another war of that scale from happening again, but his efforts were squelched when the United States make it clear they did not wish to be part of the cooperative. 

Who Was Thomas Jefferson? by Dennis Fradin

Voracious reader Thomas Jefferson was a man of many talents. He not only developed an impressive personal library, he also designed his Monticello home, a statehouse, and a university with self-taught skills. In addition to architecture and reading, Jefferson has another claim to fame: he was the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third leader of our country. 

Who Was John F. Kennedy? by Yona McDonough

John F. Kennedy was more than just the 35th president of the United States. He was also the youngest ever elected president, the first Catholic one, and a WWII hero who saved his friends during a boat trip gone wrong. 

Who Was Ronald Reagan? by Joyce Milton

A Hollywood actor-turned-politician, Ronald Reagan became the 40th president in 1981. He was a charismatic leader who ended up becoming one of the most well-liked men ever to hold the highest office in the land. 

Who is Barack Obama? by Roberta Edwards

Did you know that the man who left his mark on history forever by becoming the first African American president worked in a Baskin-Robbins in high school? Or that he was born in Hawaii? Learn all about the life of Obama before he was elected president of the United States!

John F. Kennedy the Brave by Sheila Keenan

John F. Kennedy’s dream was to make his mark on the world, and as he grew up the events in his life led him to do just that–as president of the United States!

Weird But True Know-it-all: U.S. Presidents by Brianna DuMont

The presidents were more than just leaders of our country. They were also pranksters, talented wrestlers, speedy equestrians, scaredy cats, and more! After reading this book, you will have a whole arsenal of fun facts about the presidents at your disposal!

Thomas Jefferson: President and Philosopher by Jon Meacham

Thomas Jefferson was one of the Founding Fathers of our nation. His idealism, creativity, and contradictions are all brought to life here in this biography on the life of the third president and author of the Declaration. Recommended for upper elementary/middle school students. 

Abe Lincoln at Last by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House)

Jack and Annie can’t believe they have traveled back in time to 1861 and are going to get the chance to meet Honest Abe in the Oval Office. But the president is preoccupied, and the siblings enter into a race against time to help President Abraham Lincoln preserve the country. Will they be able to help him before it’s too late? 

Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Abraham Lincoln by Mary Pope Osborne

When Jack and Annie return from their adventure helping Abraham Lincoln save the nation, they want to satisfy their curiosity about the life this 16th president led. This nonfiction companion book to Abe Lincoln At Last will give you all the information you wanted to know and more about this great man.

More Historical Book and Movie Lists

Teach history through books and movies with these comprehensive book lists from Learn in Color. Check out the full list here!

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Amy is a recent college graduate and now an elementary school teacher. She loves getting kids excited about learning and fostering their love for reading. Her other love is linguistics and she has enjoyed several experiences teaching English both in the States and abroad. Amy is a foster parent, avid traveler, tea drinker, and left-handed writer who hopes to author a few novels someday.

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