If, during story time, you’ve ever changed the pronoun or main character’s name in a book to match your kid’s name, you know how much little literatis love a personalized read every now and then. This round up of super fun books makes on-the-spot customization easy since they’re each based in the District of Columbia (aka “home”). Read on, mamas and papas!


A Halloween Scare in Washington, DC (Prepare If You Dare), by Eric James
Witches, goblins, ghosts and ghouls – it’s almost time for tricks and treats – get the kids pumped (like they’re not already!) by curling up for a story about Halloween in DC. Are you prepared for who’ll show up at your door? Maybe a congressman, a monster or alien? Read through the book to see where they’ll go – the National Cathedral, the White House or maybe the Mall? We think you’ll be surprised (or maybe not!) when you discover the plans for Halloween night!

Available at amazon.com, $9.99


The Otter and the Owl go to Washington, DC, by Chris Collier
Best buds, Owl and Otter, fly to DC to check out all the city has to offer. Visiting sights made famous by history, wise Owl tells Otter all about what happened and why each place is so special. Otter can’t help but be awed by the stories and people, who courageously fought for our country, passed laws, and strove for equality. Owl and Otter visit the usual suspects such as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (Otter may or may not have been chased by the Secret Service!), the Washington Monument, Library of Congress, and even manage to hit a few off the beaten path places too! Kiddos will love flying around with Owl and Otter, while Mamas and Papas will love the history lessons Owl imparts to us all.

Available at amazon.com, $16.95


Good Night Washington, DC, by Adam Gamble
Pint-sized fans of the Goodnight Our World books will love reading about what happens in their own backyards. Good Night Washington, DC explores the city from a child’s point of view by visiting everything from the Library of Congress, Springtime at the Tidal Basin (hello Yoshino Cherry Blossoms), dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, to making money at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and of course checking out the White House. Whether you’ve lived here for decades, or just moved here a few months ago, Good Night Washington, DC allows you to explore the city through your children’s eyes. Simple, beautiful and full of wonder.

Available at amazon.com, $8.45


Larry Gets Lost in Washington, DC, by John Skewes and Andrew Fox
Uh Oh! Larry the pup is back and this time he’s lost in DC. Did he take the parkway instead of the beltway?! Help Larry find his owner, Pete by sniffing around the Capitol, nosing through Cherry Blossoms, and saluting President Lincoln. Not only does Larry go on an adventure through our capital city, but you can take your kiddos on a ride through time by teaching them facts (written within the story) about Arlington Cemetery, the Supreme Court, the founding of America and more. Larry might have gotten lost following the scent of treats, but your little ones will know the way to their favorite DC site after following this “tail”.

Available at amazon.com, 13.50



Washington, DC, History for Kids: The Making of a Capital City, with 21 Activities, by Richard Panchyk
Older kiddos who fancy themselves history buffs should read this book stat. From the early 17th century (before DC was a twinkle in the founding fathers’ eyes) to the earthquake in 2011, Washington, DC, History for Kids: The Making of a Capital City tells the story of the District of Columbia through hands on fun including how to build a cornerstone (since there are quite a few residing around here), taking pictures of famous buildings, and visiting the Botanic Gardens. This book is perfect for at-home activities as well as helping with homework, collecting DC-centric items and even doodling some cartoon politicians.

Available at amazon.com $11.66



Clifford Goes to Washington, by Norman Bridwell
Miniature purists who can’t get enough of the big red dog will be delighted when Clifford bounds off fur adventures in the nation’s capital with his pal Riley. Not only does Clifford meet the First Lady, but he also gets to check out some of the best parts of DC. Clifford swims in the Potomac (ick!), visits Abraham Lincoln, gets tackled by the Secret Service (!), and even visits a protest…err demonstration. Don’t be surprised when your little ones vote Clifford for President come November! And, maybe you will too!


Available at amazon.com, $3.99

Does your kid have any favorite books based in D.C.? Tell us about them in the comments below. 

–Hilary Riedemann