Life Lessons in Children’s Books

Growing up isn’t easy; there are so many emotional lessons to face. A child has to learn how to make friends, try new things, and accept others while standing up for him or herself. There are times to be brave, angry, kind, sad, generous and forgiving.

For every life lesson your child encounters, there is a children’s book about that feeling that you can read aloud. When a character in a book is going through tough decisions, talk about the conflicts or messages in the story and the resolution. The stories you read can be a springboard for discussion and with your guidance can give your child the confidence to make good choices in life.

Try these children’s books about life lessons:

Accepting differences:


  • “Luka’s Quilt” by Georgia Guback. A Hawaiian grandmother and her granddaughter have a disagreement about the pattern in a quilt, but find a compromise together.
  • “Chester’s Way” by Kevin Henkes. Chester Mouse and his friend Wilson struggle to let newcomer Lilly into their everyday play.
  • “Tutus Aren’t My Style” by Linda Skeers, pictures by Anne Wilsdorf. Emma gets a package in the mail from Uncle Leo and is surprised to find a ballerina costume. She is more the jungle explorer type! Emma finds out that her uncle accepts her for being just the way she is.

Being brave:


  • “Corduroy” by Don Freeman. The lovable bear Corduroy has to be very brave to wait in a toy store until someone finally chooses him to take home.
  • “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak. A baby raccoon finds that going to school for the first time is much easier when you know you are loved.
  • “One Dark Night” by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Ivan Bates. A mouse and a mole meet up with a very large bear in this rhyming tale.
  • “Daisy and the Beastie” by Jane Simmons. When you don’t know what something is, it can be frightening! Two ducklings go on adventure to confront the beastie and are pleasantly surprised.


  • “Making the Team” by Nancy Carlson. Louanne Pig wants to be a cheerleader for the football team, but finds that she is better playing the game than being on the sidelines.
  • “Farmer Duck” by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. A barnyard full of animals decides to take over all the farm work and run the place on their own.
  • “Ruby in Her Own Time” by Jonathan Emmett, illustrated by Rebecca Harry. Ruby the young duck is slower in learning duck things than her siblings, but she catches up when she is ready.

Managing anger:

  • “Mean Soup” by Betsy Everitt. When everything goes wrong for the whole day, Horace’s mom helps him let off some steam by making Mean Soup.
  • “When Sofie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry” by Molly Bang. Sofie has a bad day, but cools off by taking a run, then a walk in the woods. When she comes back she is civil again.
  • “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Voirst, illustrated by Ray Cruz. A humorous telling of grumpy Alexander and his out-of-control life.

1 Comment

Filed under Feelings

One response to “Life Lessons in Children’s Books

  1. Great read, and I LOVE all these selections you featured:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s