Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day & Books for Kids

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! It’s been beautiful here despite a little bit of rain yesterday. I have spent a lot of my time weeding and planting, and I’m heading over to put some flowers on my grandfathers’ graves, both WWII vets.

Here are some children’s books I recommend for Memorial Day and also for any child who has a loved one overseas. This weekend, in addition to remembering those who served and died for our country, keep in mind the children all over the U.S. who have a parent stationed far away and are awaiting their safe return home.

All of the books listed below are available through, and I’ve included the ISBN numbers so you can also order from your favorite independent book stores.

The Solider’s Tree
by Stephanie L. Pickup
T.A.O. Army Kids Publishing, 2004
ISBN 978-0-9762458-0-3

Written by a military mom whose husband was stationed overseas, it’s the true story of how a family coped with dad being away during the holiday season by creating a special family tradition. Part of the proceeds from book sales are donated to various organizations that support the military community.  The book is also available through any of the U.S. web sites ( and the Hero’s Tree official web site features even more information including Hero’s Tree event planning.

Night Catch
by Brenda Ehrmantraut (Author), Vicki Wehrman (Illustrator)
Bubble Gum Press, 2005
ISBN-13: 978-0972983396

When a father is deployed overseas(location not specific), he and his son create a night time routine to keep each other close in their hearts and imaginations. Beautifully illustrated.

Memorial Day Surprise
by Theresa Golding (Author), Alexandra Artigas (Illustrator)
Boyds Mills Press, 2004
ISBN-13: 978-1590780480

When a family attends their local Memorial Day celebration, the children are surprised to find a very special veteran as part of the parade. This fun but touching story can help children understand why we celebrate the holiday but also serves to remind us that many veterans are members of our families and communities. The colorful and festive illustrations sensitively depict a multicultural community and give a sense of celebration which is suitable for younger children.

Love, Lizzie: Letters to a Military Mom
by Lisa Tucker McElroy (Author), Diane Paterson (Illustrator)
Albert Whitman & Company, 2005
ISBN-13: 978-0807547779

This book is told through the eyes of a military mom’s daughter. Using a child’s letters it spans from the start of mom’s deployment (location unspecified) until her return home. This book addresses the anxiety and questions that arise for children who deal with a parent being away. The story focuses on the activities and events that daughter Lizzie experiences during that time and how she shares them with her mom through their letters.

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