My Favorite Children’s Books with Positive Messages
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My kids love when we read to them, and I love the time we spend together. Many of our books are just for fun, but several also have a positive message or lesson. I feel that children will be more receptive to the lesson in a story than just coming from us as parents. Here are my favorite children’s books with positive messages:
Vashti is having trouble starting with her art project. The teacher encourages her to “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” She makes a dot, and it flows into a journey of creativity. A wonderful lesson in just taking the next step and seeing where it takes you.
Ramon’s love for drawing is squashed when his big brother laughs at his art. He starts struggling to get it right and is unsatisfied with anything he creates. His little sister shows him that his drawings are “ish” (vase-ish). He learns that it’s not about getting it right, but rather being creative and “ish.”
Marisol volunteers to paint the sky in the school mural, but discovers that there is no blue paint. She wonders how she will paint the sky without blue paint. When she watches the sky from the school bus and from her porch as the sun sets, she discovers that the sky is more than just blue. She learns to think outside of the box and allow creativity to flow.
Note: The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color are also available as a box set: Creatilogy.
A blue crayon mistakenly labeled red feels inadequate and like a failure when he can’t draw red. The people in his life (teacher, mother, etc.) try to “fix” him by helping him practice, encouraging him to play with friends, and sharpening him. Everyone thought there was something wrong with him. One day, a new friend asks him to draw a blue ocean for his boat. He hesitates, then agrees to try. He succeeds and finally feels happy. This is such an important lesson about accepting yourself for who you are, and not trying to be what others think you should be. This can relate to anything from career to social circles to gender identification.
Sally McCabe is the smallest girl in the smallest grade. She notices everything, including how other kids are bullied and excluded. One day, she speaks out against it and makes a difference for the whole school. She learns that you don’t have to be big or popular to make a big difference.
The Sneetches are divided by the Haves (with stars on their bellies) and the Have-Nots (without stars on their bellies). A man comes along and inadvertently teaches them that divisiveness based on random categories is silly. This can be translated to race, gender, status, etc. The book also includes three other stories: The Zax, Too Many Daves, and What Was I Scared of?
A little boy asks his mom questions like “But Mama, but Mama, what if I were a super smelly skunk, and I smelled so bad that my name was Stinky Face?” No matter how stinky or mean he could be, his mom assures him that she will always love him and care for him. A sweet story illustrating unconditional love.
What’s your favorite children’s book with a positive message?