Kansas strong stories

Today we’re bringing you five great picture books set in Kansas that you might not have heard of.  So, while you won’t find Little House on the Prairie or The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on this list, you’re sure to find a few tornadoes, as well as some great reads set here in our home state.

5.  Johnny Kaw by Devin Scillian

Just five minutes after after his birth, Johnny Kaw is over six feet tallJohnny Kaw and still growing. As he grows his and grows, his family decides to move west so Johnny can have more room to play. Johnny’s size turns out to be helpful:  he carves out valleys and builds the Rocky Mountains as he clears the fields so his father can plow.  And when a tornado threatens the family farm, it’s no match for Johnny Kaw!

4.  Aunt Minnie and the Twister by Mary Skillings Prigger

Aunt Minnie and the TwisterA tornado’s no match for Kansas-strong Aunt Minnie.  When a twister turns her house around back-to-front, she takes advantage of the opportunity to add on another room for the nine nieces and nephews who live with her.

3.  The Loudest, Fastest, Best Drummer in Kansas by Marguerite W. Davol

The Loudest, Fastest, Best Drummer in KansasIn this modern-day tall tale, Maggie, a born drummer, saves her town not only from a swarm of wasps, but also from a deadly tornado.

2. Grandma Essie’s Covered Wagon by David Williams

Grandma Essie's Covered WagonBased on the oral history passed down to the author by his grandmother, Williams gives readers a glimpse of growing up on the Kansas prairie.

1. Wagon Wheels by Barbara Brenner

Wagon WheelsIn 1878, the Muldie family moves from Kentucky to Nicodemus, Kansas. After enduring hunger and hardships waiting for spring, their father sets out in search of a better homestead further west. The boys must take care of themselves, and each other, until a letter arrives months later with a rough map. Will the boys be able to safely make their way to their new home?


What’s your favorite Kansas-strong story?  Tell us in the comments.

Natalie is a Kids Librarian with a background in teaching. She delights in spreading bookjoy to people of all ages. She also takes interest in cycling, creating art, social justice, raising small livestock, and making music.