If you’re looking to read books for ancient history studies with your kids this year, this booklist is for you. It’s a short list of delightful picture book read-alouds for the whole family.

Why only picture books?

Well… because picture books are worthwhile for everyone. Your high schooler is likely to enjoy these books every bit as much as your first grader. And I bet you’ll learn a thing or two, as you’re reading along. ;)

If you happen to be short on time (am I the only one raising my hand here?), committing to reading aloud from a picture book is a whole lot easier than sitting down to read a novel or even a chapter book.

You’ll notice in the descriptions below that I’ve noted the general geographic location (or origin) of the story. I hope that helps you choose your read-alouds based on where you are in your studies.

Whether you’re learning about ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, or Egypt… we’ve collected our favorite picture books for you right here.

Click the play button below:

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Picture books for ancient history

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Listener Guide

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast:

  • 1:36 Get the printable
  • 3:03 A short, delightful list
  • 5:12 Fables from Demi
  • 7:01 Ancient Greece
  • 10:00 Ancient Egypt
  • 13:14 Ancient Rome and Mesopotamia
  • 14:42 Tomie dePaola Bible stories and more
  • 15:34 Less is more
  • 16:29 Let the kids speak

Quotes to remember:

Picture books can be especially informative, helpful, and beautiful. They reach us in a different place. They add an element of beauty. And really, the text in a picture book is only half of what you get. The illustrations lend the other half.”

“Let this be a way that you can dip into an enjoyable, historical read-aloud with your child, and connect with them.”

“We tried to choose what will have a really wide appeal in your home, a good chance for delight and connection, offer a good opportunity for conversations in your family, and appeal to a broad range of ages. I think all of the books on this list will do all of those things.”

(Download the transcript above for more quotes and pull-outs.)

Books from this episode:

(All links are Amazon affiliate links.)

The Empty Pot
One Grain of Rice
What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?
Pythagoras and the Ratios: A Math Adventure
The Egyptian Cinderella
Of Numbers and Stars
Gilgamesh the King (The Gilgamesh Trilogy)
The Miracles of Jesus
Mary: The Mother of Jesus
Tomie dePaola’s Book of Bible Stories
D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
Pyramid
City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction
Aesop’s Fables
Mummies Made in Egypt (Reading Rainbow Books)

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Picture books for ancient history

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