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Picture Book Biographies

There are people we want our kids to read about from a young age. Great Christian saints, thinkers and leaders who demonstrated a commitment to excellence, explorers who explored, inventors who invented—any good role model for impressionable young people is who we want them reading about, and picture book biographies are a great way to introduce them.

Sure, high school students will get more out of a text-based treatment of the life of Abraham Lincoln, but 2nd graders won't. They want pictures to draw them in, to help them see the same world Abe saw, to give them a sense of splitting rails or debating Stephen Douglas right beside him. If it's Lewis and Clark they're learning about, if they can see the pine forests and the bears and the Indians, they're far less likely to forget the story of the Voyage of Discovery than if they're just reading it.

We aren't talking about books that take liberties with historical fact, or that emphasize pictures at the expense of reality. Plenty of kids' book authors seem to think that truth is a moot consideration when writing for the chronologically impaired, but we understand just the opposite to be the case: we need to be particularly careful about what our children read when they haven't even reached an age to discern between fact and conjecture.

Nor do we see pictures as somehow better than words. The Bible wasn't written in visible images, and when you're writing about real people who really lived and did real things, you can't rely solely on illustrations to communicate the facts of their existence and achievements. We're only saying that sometimes its better to show what you're trying to convey, rather than relying wholly on language.

It's not essential that youngsters know all the ins and outs of history. At the same time, when they do need to study figures and events of the past, if they already have some idea of what was going on they'll have much less difficulty putting the pieces together. Introducing them to important and fascinating people through text and pictures is a much better way to get kids thinking about history, and one likely to help them retain the information rather than forgetting it as soon as they finish the last page.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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227 Items found Print
Abe Lincoln Goes to Washington
by Cheryl Harness
from National Geographic
Picture Book Biography for 2nd-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$7.95 $5.00 (1 in stock)
Abe Lincoln Remembers
by Ann Turner
1st edition from HarperCollins
Biography for 1st-3rd grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Abraham Lincoln
by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
from Beautiful Feet Books
Biography for 1st-6th grade
1940 Caldecott Medal winner
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$21.95
Abraham Lincoln
by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
1st edition from Yearling
Biography for 1st-6th grade
1940 Caldecott Medal winner
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Abraham Lincoln
by Edgar & Ingri D'Aulaire
75th Anniversary Edition from Beautiful Feet Books
Picture Book Biography for 3rd-6th grade
1940 Caldecott Medal winner
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$17.95
Abraham Lincoln for Kids
by Janis Herbert
from Chicago Review Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$4.00 (2 in stock)
Adoniram Judson: A Grand Purpose
by Renee Meloche
from YWAM Publishing
for 2nd-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
Alexander Graham Bell
by Elizabeth MacLeod
from Kids Can Press
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$7.95
Alexander Graham Bell
by Elizabeth MacLeod
from Scholastic Inc.
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
All the World's a Stage
by Michael Bender
1st edition from Chronicle Books
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin
by James Cross Giblin
from Scholastic Inc.
for 1st-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$7.95
Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin
by James Cross Giblin
from Scholastic Inc.
for 1st-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
Amelia Earhart - Coloring Book
by Muriel Earhart Morrissey
from Bellerophon Books
for 3rd-7th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
America's Ethan Allen
by Stewart H. Holbrook
from Houghton Mifflin
Picture Book Biography for 4th-6th grade
1950 Caldecott Honor Book
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
America's Paul Revere
by Esther Forbes
1st Edition, 4th Printing from Sandpiper Books
Biography for 2nd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$10.95 $4.90 (2 in stock)
Amy Carmichael: Rescuing the Children
Heroes for Young Readers
by Renee Taft Meloche
from YWAM Publishing
Biography for 2nd-4th grade
in Heroes for Young Readers (Location: A12-06D)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Annotated Guides Great Artists
by Robert Cumming
from DK Publishing
for 6th-9th grade
in Great Artists (Location: ART-02B)
$15.00 (1 in stock)
Anselm of Canterbury
Christian Biographies for Young Readers
by Simonetta Carr
from Reformation Heritage Books
for 2nd-6th grade
in Church History for Kids (Location: CPB-07C)
$18.00
Athanasius
Christian Biographies for Young Readers
by Simonetta Carr
from Reformation Heritage Books
for 2nd-6th grade
in Church History for Kids (Location: CPB-07C)
$18.00
Augustine of Hippo
Christian Biographies for Young Readers
by Simonetta Carr
from Reformation Heritage Books
for 2nd-6th grade
in Church History for Kids (Location: CPB-07C)
Bach's Goldberg Variations
by Anna Harwell Celenza & JoAnn E. Kitchel
from Charlesbridge
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Music Appreciation (Location: AMU-05B)
$16.95
Bard of Avon
by Diane Stanley & Peter Vennema
from William Morrow & Company
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$7.99 $3.85 (3 in stock)
Bard of Avon
by Diane Stanley & Peter Vennema
from HarperCollins
for 2nd-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$8.50 (3 in stock)
Benjamin Franklin
by Edgar & Ingri D'Aulaire
from Beautiful Feet Books
Picture Book Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$15.95
Benjamin Franklin, American Genius
by Brandon Marie Miller
from Chicago Review Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Colonial America (1690-1765) (Location: B01-09A)
Bill Peet
by Bill Peet
from Houghton Mifflin
Biography for 4th-8th grade
1990 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$16.19
Black Hawk
by Joanne Oppenheim
from Troll Publishing
for 4th-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Boy Named FDR
by Kathleen Krull
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 2nd-6th grade
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Boy Who Drew Birds
by Jacqueline Davies
New title from Houghton Mifflin
for 1st-3rd grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$16.99
Boy Who Loved to Draw
by Barbara Brenner
from Sandpiper Books
Biography for 2nd-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$5.95
Boy Who Loved to Draw
by Barbara Brenner
from Houghton Mifflin
Biography for 2nd-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$4.20 (1 in stock)
Brothers at Bat
by Audrey Vernick
from Clarion Books
for 1st-3rd grade
in Great Depression (1929-1939) (Location: B01-24A)
Buffalo Bill
by Edgar & Ingri D'Aulaire
from Beautiful Feet Books
Picture Book Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$15.95 $9.00 (2 in stock)
Buffalo Soldiers: The Story of Emanuel Stance
by Robert H. Miller
from Silver Press
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Captain James Cook
by Ruth Harley
from Troll Publishing
Picture Book Biography for 4th-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre
by Robert Van Nutt, Stewart Ross
1st edition from Viking Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Christopher Columbus
by Susan Bivin Aller
from Barnes & Noble
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$2.00 (2 in stock)
Cleopatra
by Diane Stanley & Peter Vennema
from William Morrow & Company
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$7.99
Columbus
by Edgar & Ingri D'Aulaire
from Beautiful Feet Books
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$15.95
Country Artist
by David R. Collins
from First Avenue Editions
Biography for Preschool-3rd Grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Courage of Helen Keller
by Francene Sabin
from Troll Associates
for 4th-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
D'Aulaire American Biographies Package
by Edgar & Ingri D'Aulaire
from Beautiful Feet Books
Biography for Kindergarten-8th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$100.52
David Livingstone: Courageous Explorer
by Renee Meloche
from YWAM Publishing
for 2nd-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
Duke Ellington
by Andrea Davis Pinkney
1st edition from Hyperion/Madison Press
for 3rd-6th grade
1999 Caldecott Honor Book
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$6.99
Dwight D. Eisenhower
by Jack C. Harris
from Golden Books
for Preschool-3rd Grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Eleanor
by Barbara Cooney
1st Scholastic from Puffin Books
for 1st-3rd
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$6.99
Elizabeth Blackwell
from Parenting Press
for 2nd-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$3.00 (2 in stock)
Eric Liddell: Running for a Higher Prize
Heroes for Young Readers
by Renee Taft Meloche & Bryan Pollard
illustrated edition from YWAM Publishing
Picture Book Biography for 1st-3rd grade
in Heroes for Young Readers (Location: A12-06D)
Eric the Red & Leif the Lucky
by Barbara Schiller
from Avyx, Inc.
for 3rd-6th grade
in Exploration (1450-1900) (Location: B01-05A)
Farewell Symphony
by Anna Harwell Celenza & JoAnn E. Kitchel
from Charlesbridge
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Music Appreciation (Location: AMU-05B)
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