Books are a staple on most family’s gift lists at the holidays. What better way to give the gift of reading than books about your kiddo’s home town. We’ve got some books to delight your little ones and remind them why Iowa is so great. Read on for a collection of books that celebrate Des Moines and Iowa.
Discover Iowa with Pippy the Pig!
This one-of-a-kind board book by Lori J. Ferris takes you on a journey through Iowa with the curious little pig, Pippy. Tots will be delighted by Pam Schmackerís colorful and amusing artwork. Join Pippy as she wanders from the farm and travels the countryside. From covered bridges to the Iowa State Fair readers will be charmed as they discover many of Iowa’s wonderful attributes. Pippy learns so many fun Iowa facts and so will you. Discover geodes, goldfinches, oak trees and more!
H is for Hawkeye
Did you know the Hawkeye State got its nickname from Chief Black Hawk of the Sauk tribe? Or that D is for Des Moines, the capital with the golden dome? Or that Iowa is bordered on each side by navigable rivers, the Missouri marks the western border and the Mississippi forms its eastern border. H is for Hawkeye by Patricia A. Pierce presents these and many other interesting facts about the great state of Iowa.
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir by Bill Bryson traces Bryson’s childhood in 1950s America. He relates an all-American experience in Des Moines, full of family oddities, friendships, and his own rich imagination. The work intertwines the events, people, and inventions that transformed America during the decade, along with Bryson’s own experiences and thoughts in fourteen themed chapters. Throughout, Bryson uses his alter ego, the Thunderbolt Kid, and his humorous reminisces to illuminate the concerns, preoccupations, and joys of a nation and a young boy in Iowa.
Santa’s Sleigh is on its way to Iowa
It’s a magical Christmas Eve, and all of the children in your hometown are sleeping. Well, all of the children but you! How could you possibly fall sleep when you know Santa and his sleigh are on their way? This book by Eric James takes you on a Christmas adventure as Santa visits Iowa’s communities, from Waukee to Sioux City.
The Twelve Days of Christmas in Iowa
Butterflies, hot-air balloons, Madison County’s famous covered bridges, and the “field of dreams:” that’s only some of the fun Iowa has to offer. Jacob is enjoying every moment there with his cousin Olivia, from a lesson in “mutton busting” to the winter kite festival. Kids ages four to eight will adore this picture book by Susan Fitzpatrick Cornelison of places, creatures, and events in their home state.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
In this novel by Peter Hedges, Gilbert Grape, the fourth child of Albert and Bonnie Grape, narrates the story. Gilbert takes readers into the lives of his family and the other people living in the small town of Endora, Iowa. The novel describes the trials and tribulations that Gilbert’s family goes through, including the suicide of their father, the obesity, and reclusiveness of their mother and caring for their developmentally disabled brother and each other. All of these patterns unfold as Gilbert tells his story.
Do you have a favorite book about Des Moines or Iowa? Tell us in the comments!