Patriotic Publications for President's Day

by Edie Ziebel

This Presidents Day is a good time to round up the recently published patriotic themed books for young readers. These books are filled with history of our country and the personalities that helped create it. While not all are about presidents, they all celebrate the good ol' USA.

Artist Maira Kalman has been a guest blogger for the New York Times for several years. Her meditations on Abraham Lincoln are collected in Looking at Lincoln. She serves us wonderful observations and intriguing facts along with her lusciously colorful artwork.

There are two new books about George Washington. George Washington's Birthday: A Mostly True Tale by award-winning author Margaret McNamara and illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Barry Blitt tells of George's 7th birthday. It purports to get to the truth about the many Washington myths (never cut down a cherry tree!). A more traditional approach is found in George: George Washington, Our Founding Father. This book, by Frank Keating uses a list of the "values of civility" that George developed as a young man and shows how he applied those values to the challenges he faced throughout his life. It is illustrated with detail-rich realistic paintings by Mike Wimmer.

Those Rebels, John & Tom is a dual biography from Barbara Kerley and Edwin Fotheringham. It tells of the friendship shared by these two "opposites" who found their common ground in fighting for Americans' freedom.

The African American experience is addressed by two beautiful new picture books. I Have a Dream pair the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s signature speech with powerful images by awarding-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson. It includes a forward by Dr. King's daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King. Similarly, beautiful illustrations by award-winning Bryan Collier bring Langston Hughes' poem I, Too, Am American to life.

Red, White and Boom! by Lee Wardlaw illustrated by Huy Voun Lee use rhyming text and cut-paper illustrations to create a colorful account of the many ways the 4th of July is celebrated around our country.

About the Author


From baby books, to chapter books, through middle grade readers and young adult books, Edie Ziebel has designed and art directed over 1,000 books. Edie has worked at several major publishing houses and has always been a freelance designer throughout her career. She has collaborated with outstanding, award-winning illustrators as well as newcomers to the field, helping them to create compelling books for young readers. To help nurture talent, Edie volunteers with the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature One-on-One Conference, which she has co-chaired for the past 3 years.

With experience in trade, mass-market, and educational publishing, Edie will bring the appropriate design to your project. Specializing in books for very young children, Edie can help you develop illustrated books, guiding the development of the artwork itself, as well as the layout and pacing to make your story jump off the page. Edie’s also has collaborated on many different types and formats of novelty books, she can really think "outside the box".

Her experience working with licensed properties can help you create a character that stands out in the crowded license marketplace. She can develop style guides to help keep characters consistent whether you continue to create  their books or have others extend your line.

Edie’s time in educational publishing helped develop her informational graphic skills, helping authors bring home their point to readers in a clear, graphic manner. She’s also designed books and materials targeted towards teachers. 

Bringing a sensitivity to typography and layout to all her book projects, Edie Ziebel can bring the best out of you!


"She is intelligent, concise, has a good eye for detail and a great sense of humor."

"Edie one of my favorite art directors ever. We worked on a number of wonderful books together at Cartwheel, a Scholastic imprint. She is imaginative, creative, inspirational and a pure pleasure to work with. I repeat, one of the best!"

"Edie is a phenomenal organizer who’s able to juggle many projects at once, and she manages schedules and people with ease. She was well-loved by her staff, and all the freelance designers and artists she worked with. I was lucky to have her on my team. A strong designer of both upscale trade and mass-market children’s books--a rare combination—I don’t think I ever once saw her lose patience or become flustered."

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