We love this state of ours. It’s rich in history, culture, beauty, great food, and talent. Here are some of our favorite kid’s books written by Texas authors or books about the Lone Star State.
Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Joy Fisher Hein
My mom used to say you could tell when you crossed the state line into Texas because nobody else has wildflowers quite like we do – thank you, Lady Bird! This book is pretty, and the author & illustrator are both Texans.
All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis
Juneteeth, and official Texas state holiday, celebrates the emancipation of slaves in Texas. News of emancipation did not reach Texas until two-and-a-half years AFTER Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. This book is told through the eyes of a slave girl who finds out she is free on June 19, 1865, when the proclamation is announced in Galveston. I like the way this moment in history is presented by Johnson’s succinct but informative and emotional prose, and the gorgeous watercolor illustrations by Lewis capture the joy of that day. There aren’t many picture books as well-done as this one about that important day in Texas history.
Wish Girl by Nikki Loftin
This is a fantastic new story about a beautiful and magical Texas canyon. Nikki Loftin (an Austin-area resident) weaves a real and heart-filling tale about art, friendship, listening, and life.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Intrigued by the different grasshoppers inhabiting her backyard, eleven-year-old Callie Vee finds herself suddenly enthralled by the natural world–a fascination that leads her to bond with her famously reclusive and standoffish grandfather. Voracious in her newfound love of science, Callie launches herself on a summer of exploration that leads to many new discoveries, not least of which is what it means to be a girl in love with science in turn-of-the-century Texas. Kelly is a local Austin author!
Editor’s note: Don’t miss out on the next book, The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate. It’s fabulous!