Children need books.
When kids are little, we do so much teaching based on modeling. While it’s easy to demonstrate what we want them to know, it can be tough for them to relate it to their own lives. Books make it easier to show kids situations that they’ll encounter and offer solutions and new ways of thinking about their lives.
These books all teach a lesson. Books about mental health, books about growing up differently, and books about different cultures, each one of these books would make the perfect addition to your child’s bookshelf. So peruse the list, and pick one of these children’s books for a child to in your life.
10 Kid’s Books That Teach Great Life Lessons
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Little Imperfections: A Tall Tale of Growing Up Different by Peet Montzingo and Rockwell Sands
In their debut picture book and accompanying video series, Peet Montzingo and Rockwell Sands have woven moving messages and life lessons with bravery, comedy, and grace. With captivating rhythms, lyrical rhymes, and breathtaking illustrations, this book is sure to be a classic on your family’s shelf for generations to come.
Little Imperfections carries timeless messages of love and acceptance told through a truly unique perspective and makes the perfect gift for anybody—young, old, or in between.
Giving Gal by Stephanie L. Jones
Giving Gal and the Christmas Cookie Extravaganza by Stephanie L. Jones
When Giving Gal hosts her annual Christmas Cookie Extravaganza, she is excited for her new friend, Tianna, to join in on the fun. Initially, the day doesn’t go as planned. But Giving Gal persists in giving encouragement, showing kindness, and making sure her friend feels included.
This beautifully illustrated and heartfelt story reminds us of the power of our strengths and how, when we come together, magical moments happen.
The Unsinkable Gus Davis by Laurie Trumble Davis
Gus Davis is a French bulldog who thinks he can do anything—even swim. Bean is Gus’s human best friend who thinks bulldogs aren’t designed for the water.
Who is right?
It turns out they both are!
All it takes is a persistent bulldog and a creative human friend to prove that, with a little practice and adaptation, anything is possible. The Unsinkable Gus Davis is a playful story about figuring things out, staying safe around water, and laughing along the way!
¡Mi comunidad! • My Community! by 123 Andrés and Mónica Paola Rodriguez
An endearing new dual-language book, ¡Mi comunidad! • My Community! celebrates community helpers, with two companion songs (Spanish and English) to read and sing together. ¡Mi comunidad! • My Community! is a joyful walk around the community to get to know people who help us stay safe, learn, and thrive. With vibrant illustrations by Puerto Rican artist Mónica Paola Rodriguez, the book includes a glossary of community helper roles to jump-start conversations at home and school about the many ways people help and serve others. The brand new songs “My Community” and “Mi Comunidad” are available exclusively via the QR code included in the back of the book.
¡Mi comunidad! es un libro emotivo y lleno de vida en español y en inglés, que celebra a los ayudantes de la comunidad. El libro viene acompañado por dos canciones nuevas – una en cada idioma – para leer y cantar en familia. Con ¡Mi Comunidad! nos paseamos por nuestra comunidad y conocemos a algunas de las personas que nos ayudan a estar a salvo, a aprender y a seguir adelante.
A Very Asian Guide to Korean Food by Michelle Li and illustrated by Sunnu Rebecca Choi
Explore the delicious world of Korean Food! This illustrated picture book introduces young readers to classic and modern Korean dishes and provides fun facts about the foods and culture of Korea. Learn how kimchi is made or discover what makes Korean fried chicken so crispy.
A Very Asian Guide to Korean Food is written by Michelle Li, an award-winning veteran journalist, and co-founder of the Very Asian Foundation. Michelle started a global movement of unity with the viral hashtag #veryasian after she received a racist voicemail in response to her sharing on-air the Korean foods she eats. She is a vocal advocate for the Asian American community and brings this same pride and energy for her culture to her debut children’s book. Illustrated by Sunnu Rebecca Choi in mixed media, each page is a colorful exploration of a dish that is sure to make every reader hungry.
Lilly and May Learn Why Mom and Dad Work by Anthony C. Delauney
Lilly and May Learn Why Mom and Dad Work is a rhyming book that helps young children understand why their parents go to work and how the money that they earn helps their family live.
Part of the Owning the Dash Kids’ Book series, the goal of which is to promote childhood financial literacy!
Dash and Nikki and The Jellybean Game by Anthony C. Delauney
Butterflies in Me: An Anthology Bringing Awareness to Mental Health by Denisha Seals
Powerful, inspiring stories of perseverance and hope for children who feel alienated, out of place or overwhelmed.
Each of the four stories in this collection centers around an emotionally vulnerable child. As these children deal with anxiety, depression, and difficulties adjusting to school, caring adults help them find their voice. Each story is appropriately addressed and culturally relevant to the diverse characters’ challenges. These works honor and celebrate the resiliency of Immigrants, African, African American, Indigenous, Latino, and other marginalized children.
Written for children in grades K-8, Butterflies in Me is from the pen of Denisha Seals, a survivor of abuse who is thriving as an up-and-coming artist and filmmaker.
For those caring adults wanting to make a difference, see also the Butterflies in Me Practitioner Tools and the Learning to Love Your Butterfly Youth Workbook.