Discover the best children’s books about self esteem. These books for self esteem will help your children to develop a strong sense of self-worth regardless of their circumstances in life.
Building self-esteem is an important part of a child’s development yet is often overlooked in official education.
As the world fills with more and more confusion about what gives a person value and worth, as parents, we feel the rising importance to instill in our children a positive self-image, self-worth, and confidence to help them navigate life’s challenges.
One effective way to promote self-esteem in children is through reading SEL picture books on a variety of topics like self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-love, and perfectionism.
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These children’s books about self esteem have engaging illustrations, relatable characters, and empowering messages that can help children feel good about themselves and develop a strong sense of self-worth.
Whether you’re looking for books to read to your toddler, preschooler, or elementary school-age child, our list has something for everyone.
“A Bad Case of Stripes” by David Shannon
“A Bad Case of Stripes” by David Shannon is one of the best self worth books that explores the theme of self-acceptance. The story follows a girl named Camilla Cream who is so worried about what others think of her that she develops a seriously bad case of stripes. She changes colors and patterns based on what people want her to be, and she becomes more and more unhappy. No one seems to know how to help her get rid of the stripes. Eventually, she learns to accept herself for who she is and embraces her unique qualities, such as liking limba beans. Once she does, her stripes disappear. This book teaches children the importance of being true to themselves and not worrying about what others think of them.
“I Like Myself” by Karen Beaumont
“I Like Myself” by Karen Beaumont is a great self-talk book that encourages children to love and accept themselves for who they are. The book is about a little girl who has learned to love herself no matter what. As she expresses her self-confidence and self-love, despite others’ opinions and judgments she stays true to liking who she is. It teaches kids that self-esteem comes from within, and that they should never let anyone else make them feel less than they are. “I Like Myself” is an excellent option for parents to teach kids about self-esteem because it promotes a positive self-image and helps children feel comfortable in their own skin.
“Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon” by Patty Lovell
“Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon” by Patty Lovell is one of the best books about standing up for yourself. A little girl named Molly Lou Melon who learns to embrace her uniqueness and believe in herself. Despite being teased and bullied by a classmate, Molly remains confident and true to herself. With the help of her grandmother’s wise words, Molly learns that she is special and can stand tall and proud. The book’s message of self-acceptance, kindness, and resilience is conveyed through the charming illustrations, which feature diverse characters and a range of emotions.
“Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae
“Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae is a self esteem book about a giraffe named Gerald who dreams of dancing, but feels insecure because he doesn’t think he has the talent. Even though he doesn’t feel confident in his ability, he looks up at the moon and learns that he just needs to find his own rhythm and dance in his own unique way. The book’s rhyming text and colorful illustrations are engaging and fun, capturing the reader’s imagination. The book encourages children to find their own strengths and talents and to dance to the beat of their own drum.
“A Little SPOT of Confidence” by Diane Alber
“A Little SPOT of Confidence” by Diane Alber is an inspiring picture book that encourages children to believe in themselves and their abilities. The story follows a little SPOT who is nervous about trying new things and lacks confidence. However, with the help of some encouraging words and positive affirmations, the little SPOT gains confidence and courage. The book teaches children that it’s okay to feel scared or uncertain, but that they can overcome these feelings by believing in themselves and their abilities.
“I Am Enough” by Grace Byers
“I Am Enough” by Grace Byers is among the best books on confidence that celebrates self-love, diversity, and the power of positive thinking. The book’s inspiring message is conveyed through the use of simple, yet powerful affirmations, which encourage children to embrace their unique qualities and to believe in themselves. The book’s illustrations feature diverse characters of different ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds, promoting inclusivity and empathy. The book promotes a positive self-image and helps children build resilience, confidence, and compassion.
“Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun” by Maria Dismondy
“Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun” by Maria Dismondy is among the top books about standing up for yourself and encourages them to embrace their differences. The book is about a young girl named Lucy who is teased by a classmate for her unconventional lunch choice. With the help of her grandfather’s wise words, Lucy learns to be proud of who she is and to show kindness even when others are unkind.
“The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodso
“The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson is a touching picture book that celebrates diversity, empathy, and the courage to be yourself. The book follows a young girl who feels like an outsider at school because of her background and experiences. With the help of her teacher and other classmates, the girl learns to embrace her unique perspective and to share her stories with others. The book’s message of inclusivity and self-acceptance is conveyed through the powerful use of language and the striking illustrations.
“Brontorina” by James Howe
“Brontorina” by James Howe is one of the most fun self awareness books that promotes self-acceptance, determination, and following your dreams despite what others think. The book follows a young dinosaur named Brontorina who dreams of becoming a ballerina, even though her size and unconventional appearance isn’t like a typical ballerinas. With the help of her friends and a supportive ballet teacher, Brontorina learns to overcome the challenges and obstacles in her path and to pursue her passion for dance.
“The Wonderful Things You Will Be” by Emily Winfield Martin
“The Wonderful Things You Will Be” by Emily Winfield Martin is one of the best self confidence books that encourages children to embrace their unique qualities and dream big. The book celebrates individuality, imagination, and the endless possibilities of the future. The author emphasizes the importance of self-love, self-confidence, and believing in oneself, encouraging children to be kind, brave, and curious.
“The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds
“The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds is an inspiring picture book that encourages children to embrace their creativity, self-expression, and self-belief. The book follows a young girl named Vashti who believes she can’t draw. However, with the help of a supportive teacher, Vashti learns to trust her inner creativity and creates a beautiful dot that inspires others.
“The OK Book” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
“The OK Book” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a playful and uplifting picture book that celebrates self-acceptance, self-expression, and that it’s alright to be average. The book follows a cleverly “OK”-shaped stick character. In the story, OK shows readers all the different ways they can be “OK” – from being a good listener to dancing in the rain. Each page features a fun illustration and a simple yet powerful message about self-acceptance and being comfortable with oneself. “The OK Book” is a great option for parents to teach kids about self-esteem because it encourages children to be proud of who they are even if they are just “OK” at doing things.
“The Lion Inside” by Rachel Bright
“The Lion Inside” by Rachel Bright is a heartwarming self love book that teaches children about self-belief, courage, and the importance of inner strength. The book follows a small mouse named Mouse who feels unnoticed and insignificant in a world full of larger animals. Mouse decides to approach the fierce Lion to ask for his help in being more courageous. Lion teaches Mouse that he already has the courage he needs within him and that he just needs to find it. The mouse learns that if he wants things to change, he first needs to change himself.
“Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes
“Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes is among the classic books on building confidence. This story is about a young mouse named Chrysanthemum who loves her unique name, until she is teased about it by her classmates. Chrysanthemum begins to feel ashamed and embarrassed of her name, but with the help of a supportive teacher and her parents, she learns to embrace her name and the qualities that make her special.
“A Hat for Mrs. Goldman” by Michelle Edwards
“A Hat for Mrs. Goldman” by Michelle Edwards is among the top children’s books about confidence. This book teaches children about the power of kindness and to not worry about being perfect. The book follows a young girl named Sophia who wants to do something special for her neighbor, Mrs. Goldman, who spends her time knitting hats for others but never makes one for herself. Sophia decides to make a hat for Mrs. Goldman, but struggles with the task until she gets some help from a friend. The book promotes the idea that helping others can bring happiness and a sense of fulfillment, and that by doing so, one can build self-esteem and self-worth.
“Leo the Late Bloomer” by Robert Kraus
“Leo the Late Bloomer” by Robert Kraus is among the top self worth books that teaches children about patience and the importance of individual growth. The book follows a young lion named Leo who is a late bloomer – he hasn’t learned to read, write, or even speak yet while all his animal friends have already developed these skills. Leo’s worried father observes his son’s slow progress and is concerned that Leo will never catch up. However, Leo’s mother encourages him to be patient and that he will bloom in his own time. “Leo the Late Bloomer” is an good way for parents to teach kids about The value of individual growth and the importance of not comparing oneself to others.
“The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes” by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein
“The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes” by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein is among the best self compassion books that teaches children about the importance of embracing imperfection and overcoming the fear of failure. The book follows a young girl named Beatrice who is known in her town for never making any mistakes. She is praised for her perfectionism, but she begins to feel the pressure of living up to everyone’s expectations. One day, Beatrice makes a mistake in front of everyone, and she learns that making mistakes is a natural part of life. The book promotes the idea that it’s okay to make mistakes and that failure can be a stepping stone to success.
Conclusion: Children’s Books About Self Esteem
By reading these SEL books to your child, you can help them develop a positive self-image and a strong sense of self-worth. It is my hope that this list of self esteem books for elementary students will provide you with some useful resources to help promote self-esteem in your child and equip them to face life’s challenges with confidence.
If you enjoyed this list of self-esteem books, try other fun social emotional learning books that teach important life skills!
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- Read more SEL books for kids!
Hi, I’m Tori! I’m the founder of homeschoolnewbie.com. I’m a former elementary school teacher turned homeschool mama who has a passion for home education! I have 10+ years of experience working with children in all kinds of educational settings. As a new homeschooling parent, my mission is to navigate the world of homeschooling and share with you the best home education practices. If you want to learn more about me, check out my about page. See you there!