In this post about Arkansas Books for Kids, we are sharing some of our favorite children’s books that help to teach about the state, the history, and the diverse landscape. Make sure to check out the rest of my book recommendations for all ages, too!
Our booklist below includes picture books for young children as well as chapter books for the older crowd. We have listed books about Arkansas and books with characters who live there.
Now, read on to learn a bit about the 25th state and to choose Arkansas books that are perfect for your children.
Arkansas is a land-locked state full of water! Known for its beautiful lakes, rivers, and hot springs, there are over 600,000 acres of lakes in Arkansas!
Plus, in 1921, the 18th national park was designated in Hot Springs Arkansas. Known as “The American Spa,” it is home to 47 natural hot springs with an average water temperature of 143° Fahrenheit and many are easily accessible from West Mountain Drive’s main scenic road.
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Why is Arkansas called The Natural State?
Arkansas’s official nickname is “The Natural State” because of its landscape. The rolling hills, mountains, and forests make Arkansas a beautiful place to live!
Officially adopted by the legislature in 1995 this nickname highlights the “…unsurpassed scenery, clear lakes, free-flowing streams, magnificent rivers, meandering bayous, delta bottomlands, forested mountains, and abundant fish and wildlife.”
Arkansas has actually had 8 different nicknames since 1858 when Arkansas had its first recorded nickname in print; it was then known as The Bear State.
Undoubtedly, Arkansas was referred to as The Bear State by early settlers who found the territory teeming with this animal!
Past Arkansas nicknames were things like:
The Razorback State
The Wonder State
The Land of Opportunity
In fact, some people still use the above nicknames!
How Many National Parks are in Arkansas?
If you Google this question, it can be downright confusing! Many places say 7 and many others say 8! I spent quite a bit of research time to figure out if Arkansas really has 7 or 8 National Parks.
There are 52 State Parks, 7 National Parks, and 1 National Historic Trail in The Natural State.
Welcome to Arkansas! Young Arkansans and visitors will be enchanted by the journey through "the Natural State" in this bedtime board book.
Good Night Arkansas features wildlife, the Arkansas State Fair, Bull Shoals Lake, Hot Springs National Park, Scott Family Amazeum, Blanchard Springs Caverns, Arkansas Museum of Discovery, the University of Arkansas and more!
As winter turns to spring and spring to summer, brings with it the change in season and the family reunion tradition. Families all over the world come together once a year to reunite, socialize, strengthen family ties and relationships, and learn about family history.
Such is the tradition with the writer's family.
Maria Hoskins recalls how fun, exciting, and entertaining her family is during the bi-annual family reunion holiday.
Maria hopes each reader will enjoy her family reunion story and draw on the commonality readers will experience as they associate their family reunion with the writer's family reunion story.
A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High
In 1957, well before Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Melba Pattillo Beals and eight other teenagers became iconic symbols for the Civil Rights Movement and the dismantling of Jim Crow in the American South as they integrated Little Rock’s Central High School in the wake of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education.
Warriors Don’t Cry is, at times, a difficult but necessary reminder of the valuable lessons we can learn from our nation’s past. It is a story of courage and the bravery of a handful of young, black students who used their voices to influence change during a turbulent time.
Sarah Jones was only eight years old in the summer of 1964, but with her mother Esther Mae on eight prayer lists and flipping around town with the generally mistrusted civil rights organizers, Sarah believed it was time to get baptized and take responsibility for her own sins.
That would mean sitting on the mourner’s bench come revival, waiting for her sign, and then testifying in front of the whole church.
With characters as vibrant and evocative as their setting, Mourner’s Bench is the story of a young girl coming to terms with religion, racism, and feminism while also navigating the terrain of early adolescence and trying to settle into her place in her family and community.
Join Cookie Boy as he travels through Arkansas, enjoying the sights and TRYING to outsmart the hungry animals he meets along the way.
This Arkansas version of the Gingerbread Man story includes an appendix with photographs and additional information about the places Cookie Boy visits such as the Old State House and Louisiana Purchase State Park.
Was Johnny Cash always the rebellious "Man in Black" that we remember him as today?
Find out in this biography that takes us from Cash's childhood on an Arkansas cotton farm to his first days in rockabilly through his most famous years as a country music legend and icon of American songwriting.
Who Was Johnny Cash? lets young readers learn about every step in Johnny Cash's groundbreaking muscial career. As one of the best-selling American musicians of all time, Cash, born JR Carter, was known for his rich, deep voice and musical style that featured a chugging, train-like beat.
Not set in Arkansas, but the Author was born and spent much of her childhood in the state.
With an eye toward empowering and inspiring kids, Chelsea Clinton explores some of the biggest challenges facing our world today. Using data, charts and stories she unpacks challenges related to Poverty, Climate Change, Gender Equality, Health, Endangered Species and talks about what's being done to make a difference in each area--particularly by kids and teenagers.
With lots of suggestions and ideas for action, Chelsea Clinton shares her passion for helping others and shows readers that the world belongs to every single one of us, and every one of us counts--no matter how young.
A brand new box set featuring the first six books in the bestselling Theodore Boone series from the master of the modern legal thriller, John Grisham
Join Theo's adventures from the beginning in this deluxe box set collection of the first six Theodore Boone books: Kid Lawyer, The Abduction, The Accused, The Activist, The Fugitive, and The Scandal.
Brimming with the intrigue and suspense that made John Grisham a #1 international bestseller and undisputed master of the modern legal thriller, Theodore Boone's trials and triumphs will keep readers hooked until the very last page.
Are you excited about learning about the beautiful waters and varied history of this state with these resources and Books about Arkansas for Children?