Picture books are one of my family’s love languages.
The words, the illustrations, the stories that live in our hearts. They’re the backbone of our homeschooling.
Over the summer, we combined history and science by studying the lives of famous scientists and inventors. These picture books about scientists and inventors inspired hours of creativity and dreaming that could very well change the course of my boys lives.
Lately I’ve been on the hunt for picture books about writers/authors and poets. And MY GOODNESS! These do not disappoint!
Picture Books about Writers and Authors
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As a transition from our study of scientists and inventors, I grabbed this book about the creator of the first American dictionary. We all found it fascinating. His dedication to his task was truly remarkable.
While the actual book “To Kill a Mockingbird” is too mature for my boys right now, I was happy to introduce them to the life of the author, Harper Lee. She was an awful like her protagonist Scout and her tenacity in becoming a writer was admirable!
An indepth look at how Ted Geisel’s childhood shaped the author he would become. It was encouraging to see that he wasn’t always understood by others yet didn’t let that stop him. My boys were amazed that anyone would criticize one of their favorite authors! The information at the back of the book was insightful as well! Lots of background into what spurred him to write some of his more famous works.
My boys adore Shakespeare and have loved learning about, watching and quoting his plays. Getting to learn about the man behind some of the most enduring stories of all time was so worth it. Diane Stanley has written many great biographies for kids that are FAR from boring!
A fascinating book about the life and impact of Harriet Beecher Stowe. I love that this book highlighted the impact that Beecher Stowe’s book had on the anti-slavery movement. Words can change the course of the world!
A straightforward book about the author of the beloved “Anne of Green Gables” series. It becomes quite clear how the Maud Montgomery’s life was the inspiration for Anne’s plot. The illustrations are delightful as well!
Who can forget Neverland, Peter Pan, Hook, and the rest of the gang? J.M. Barrie certainly created one of the most magical and memorable stories of all time. Yet his life was filled with pain and tragedy. Through befriending another suffering family with young boys, Barrie was able to heal and offer healing, including through his writing!
A superbly illustrated book that walks through the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family. It’s like a speedy trip through the whole Little House series, but includes her adult life, her journalist daughter, and how Laura became a world famous writer. It was like visiting an old friend, and got my boys excited to chronicle their own lives.
Picture Books about Poets
A gorgeously illustrated book about William Carlos Williams and his ground breaking poetry. We especially loved how Williams, though a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, was still a full time physician. But his keen observation skills and his willingness to simply put down words on paper, left the world with thought-provoking poems to chew on.
I automatically love anything illustrated by Barbara Cooney. This book is written from the perspective of a young neighbor girl of Emily Dickenson. The focus is on Dickenson’s reclusive lifestyle but her generosity with words, a gift that continues to delight readers the world over!
I had never heard of Emma Lazarus, but my goodness, what a role model she was! Ms. Lazarus wrote the poem that is engraved on the Statue of Liberty “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” and she fiercely lived up to her ideals to create an America that stood for freedom. This is a must read!
Written from his daughter’s perspective, this book gives a lovely look at the life of Robert Frost. It magnificently wove direct lines of Frost poetry into the prose of the story. The back of the book gave even further details plus many whole poems to soak in! Super inspiring!
This book about the father of Haikus introduced my boys to the 5-7-5 pattern while showcasing Basho’s life. We enjoyed learning about another ancient culture and the illustrations were fascinating and entrancing. Big bonus points for having actual haikus throughout the text!
This book had us wanting to stand up and cheer by the end! The determination of George M. Horton to learn to read, write, and produce poetry all while living under the evil of slavery was truly remarkable.
Featuring the Chilian poet Pablo Neruda, this book shows how a love of words and nature and bring about beautiful poetry. But above words and nature, Neruda loved people. Now that’s something I want my boys to emulate!
With beauty and depth, Juan Felipe Herrera tells his life story of becoming the 21st U.S. Poet Laureate and he does the telling with POETRY! Growing up with his migrant farmer parents, Herrera shares his boyhood and imagination that led to greatness. Illustrated by Caldecott winner Lauren Castillo, this book is not to be missed!