15 Children Books That Teach Valuable Life Lessons

"In a good book the best is between the lines."

I love to use stories to pass through important life lessons as they turn boring messages into interesting ones and they are subliminal. Here I have selected my favourite ones that I recommend parents to buy for kids or to read to them.

“The Monster at the End of This Book” by Jon Stone

Lesson: This book teaches young kids to never fear the unknown. As scary as uncertainty is in life, sometimes not knowing what’s in store for in the future can be a very rewarding and exciting experience.

This book is inspired by the famous children’s TV show “Sesame Street.” The story centres around one of its characters, Grover. We love the hilarious storyline and beautiful illustration, on top of it suggesting a very good attitude to deal with uncertainty.

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst

Lesson: This book reminds readers that for every one bad day comes a series of better and happier days. No matter how difficult and challenging life may be, there’s always a rainbow at the end of the tunnel.

This book is an all time favourite and kids just love them. We like this book because it tackles real-life situations and feelings that can be experienced and felt by both children and adults. It’s a book that’s worth to keep and that your kids can read whenever they come across a bad day.

“The Way I Act” by Steve Metzger

Lesson: This book teaches readers the importance of knowing how children should act in certain situations. It also serves as a reminder that the ways we act affect those around us. Therefore, it is a must to act as a responsible and compassionate individual.

“The Way I Act” has sold millions of copies worldwide. It reinforces the importance of acting in a certain way. We love all the action examples connected with life traits such as friendly, brave, considerate, curious, etc.

“Harriet the Spy” by Louise Fitzhugh

Lesson: “Harriet the Spy” is one of the children’s stories that can instantly serve as a reminder for children to embrace whatever it is that makes them different. In a world where everyone seems to be trying so hard to fit in, this book challenges young readers to stick to who they really are.

“Harriet the Spy” has been dubbed as a children’s classic and a “milestone in children’s literature.” It is perfect for kids who have felt like an outcast at least once in their lives.

“Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren

Lesson: Lindgren’s book “Pippi Longstocking” teaches readers the value of believing in their talents, as well as the other things that they can do. As long as you are using your skills correctly, you can help change the world.

“Pippi Longstocking” is one of the most popular children’s stories of all times since its conception in 1945. These quotes from Pippi will surely show you how much she’s believing in herself!

  • “Don’t you worry about me. I’ll always come out on top.”
  • ‘He’s the strongest man in the world.’  "Man, yes,' said Pippi, 'but I am the strongest girl in the world, remember that.'
  • 'I don't think you have a very nice way with ladies,’ said Pippi. And she lifted him in her strong arms — high in the air — and carried him to a birch tree and hung him over a branch. Then she took the next boy and hung him over another branch.

“Oh, The Places You Will Go!” by Dr. Seuss

Lesson: Dr. Seuss’ book teaches children the importance of being in charge of their future. “Oh, The Places You Will Go” posits that every person has the capability to control his or her own destiny.

This book was the last book that was published by Dr. Seuss shortly before his death. What makes this book interesting to read is the fact that it has several positive themes like controlling one’s life, taking responsibility for one’s actions and always keep moving forward no matter what.

“Amelia Bedelia” by Peggy Parish

Lesson: This book teaches readers that not everything in life needs to be taken literally. After all, every person has a different way of communicating his or her thoughts. Therefore, understanding should always be applied to all sorts of interaction with other people.

Amelia Bedelia is the protagonist in Peggy Parish’s series of books. It offers hilarious storylines centered on the main character. It is also very well-written as it combines a mixture of dialogues, action and illustration.

“Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans

Lesson: This book teaches readers to never be fearful of anything. Even though Madeline is the smallest girl among the 11 other girls at the convent school, she didn’t get scared easily. The book also teaches the importance of valuing education and respecting the elderly.

“Madeline” was first published in 1939 and is well-loved by many. It has been included in some school curriculums across the globe. Bemelmans’ illustration in “Madeline” is very detailed which makes it even more attractive to readers.

“Corduroy” by Don Freeman

Lesson: The book “Corduroy” teaches readers the importance of always being assertive. When something doesn’t go as planned, one should always find ways to make things right again. Additionally, this book also serves as a reminder to everyone that friends shouldn’t be selected based on looks, but on personality.

“Corduroy” follows the life of an adorable bear by the same name. A girl named Lisa wanted to buy him, but he wasn’t in tip-top shape. This book is very relatable since most children have at least one stuffed bear that they love dearly.

“The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf

Lesson: The book “The Story of Ferdinand” teaches readers the importance of understanding that being different from the majority isn’t always a bad thing. When faced with specific types of trying situations, staying true to oneself is the key to solving problems and staying genuinely happy.

“The Story of Ferdinand” has been sold at various bookstores for more than 70 years now and for good reason. We like this children’s book because the tone and the story is very spot on. Not to mention, Ferdinand is very lovable character because of his unique attributes and personality.

“The Sweetest Fig” by Chris Van Allsburg

Lesson: This book teaches readers the importance of being kind to people and animals – most especially those who can’t give us anything in return. It also serves as a reminder to always be careful what one wishes for.

“The Sweetest Fig” is a hilarious book that stars Monsieur Bibot. He’s arrogant, annoying and cruel to both human being and animals. We like this book because it is relatable yet unpredictable. The book’s illustrations also stand out because they are unique and colorful.

“Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld

Lesson: “Uglies” serves as a reminder that not everything in this world should be defined by one’s beauty. Since nobody can be regarded as perfect, imperfections should be embraced and celebrated.

This New York Times best seller book wouldn’t be included in the list if it isn’t well-written, relatable and memorable. Just that the first few chapters may seem quite repetitive (the last few pages are where all of the actions and lessons can be found) and it’s more suitable for older kids of 7th grade or above.

“The Baby-Sitters Club” by Ann M. Martin

Lesson: This book teaches readers that anything is possible as long as you set your mind into achieving it. Regardless of age, there really are no limits to a person’s dreams. In fact, the more you think it, the more you can be it.

“The Baby-Sitters Club” is a series of books written by Ann M. Martin. It follows the lives of Kristin Thomas and her friends who formed a baby-sitter’s club where they took care of young children. Each of the books in the series is considered to be exciting because they tackle new issues and are also set in different locations.

“The Giver” by Lois Lowry

Lesson: The book “The Giver” teaches readers the importance of not changing one’s self just to fit in. The book also serves as a reminder to appreciate the world we live in by using all of our senses properly.

This book is a young-adult dystopian novel that was first released in 1993. A year later, the book won the prestigious Newbery Medal. It focuses on the inevitabilities of growing up, as well as the importance of trusting oneself and others, a perfect relatable read to help the growth of young people into adult.

“The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Lesson: “The Secret Garden” teaches readers to never be confined by ones limitations. It also reminds readers that even the meanest of individuals have a soft spot and it’s only a matter of time for it to be unleashed.

Burnett’s book is a popular children’s classic that has been read by millions of people across the world over the course of time. We like this book because it is written in a very straightforward manner. However, Burnett didn’t write the protagonist Mary as a bad person even though she had tons of bad qualities.

About the Author Tammy Seay

I believe our kids are the key to the future of the world and, as parents, we have a lot of influence while our children are still learning and growing. We set ourselves as our kids’ role models. Consciously and unconsciously, we pass on to them what we know, what we believe, and what we value. This is why partnering with parents in teaching life lessons and soft skills to get kids prepared for the world has become my key purpose in life. I hope that through my experience in teaching communications in university and in NLP training and coaching, I’ll be able to equip you with more tangible methods so that you can be your children’s life teacher, too!

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