Children's Books: 8 Best Books That Teach Character Building

Children's Books: 8 Best Books That Teach Character Building

Stories are the way to teach values, and books are indeed a great way to build character in your child. Check out the books that teach character.

Character building is one of the most important aspects of childrearing. Character helps inform the choices that they will make in the future, and determines how successful and happy they would be in life.

And what better way to teach character than through storybooks? The world's greatest moral teachers have also depended on stories to teach eternal principles and truths.

Character traits in these eight children’s books display various values (or the lack of) like perseverance, empathy and honesty.


1. A Chair for my mother (2007) by Vera B.Williams

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

books that teach character

This story is about a young girl, Rosa, whose apartment is destroyed by fire.

Since the fire, there has not been a comfortable place for her waitress mother and her grandmother to sit in their new home. Not being able to afford one immediately, they decide to save money, bit by bit, to buy the perfect big, comfortable chair.

The day she much awaits comes finally when the jar is full. This story is a heartwarming one, about the values of saving and about perseverance, to reach a common goal.

 2. Corduroy (1976) by Don Williams

Publisher: Puffin Books

books that teach characterTeach your child about caring and compassion through a cute teddy bear that has stolen the hearts of thousands of children since yesteryears. Corduroy is the famous evergreen teddy bear who sits on the shelf of a department store, waiting to be adopted by someone.

A little girl, Lisa, finally comes to the store and is smitten by him. However, her mother refuses to let her buy the teddy bear because he has a button missing from his overalls.

The little girl comes back with money the next day to buy the teddy bear and later lovingly sews a button on his overall. This book will soften the hearts of even adults.

3. Ordinary Amos and the Amazing Fish (2000) by Eugenie and Henry Fernandes

Publisher: Scholastic Canada

ordinary amos and the amazing fish

This is a hilarious but thought-provoking story about how a boy, Amos, goes fishing but instead gets caught by a family of fish that decides to keep him as a pet.

Poor Amos is then put into a bowl of air by the fish, and learns what it is like to be on the other side of the rod. You can imagine how much your child will learn about empathy from this.

4. The Crayon Box that Talked (1997) by Shane Derolf

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

books that teach characterIn this story, a little girl buys a box of disgruntled crayons. Once home, she uses each and every one of them to create a beautiful art piece. Only then do the crayons realise how wonderful they can be, if only they keep their differences aside and work together.

This story is the right choice if you want to teach your child cooperation and to look beyond differences in people.

5. The Carrot Seed (1993) by Ruth Krauss

Publisher : HarperFestival

books that teach characterThis story is clearly about perseverance and about having an unshakable faith in oneself.

A little boy plants a carrot seed and waits patiently for it to grow, in the face of negative remarks by people who say it would never grow. The little boy perseveres nevertheless, watering the seed and tending to it regularly, never veering from his belief that the seed would grow.

And of course the carrot grows, that too into a size much bigger than he had ever imagined. Although this book was first published six decades ago, it still has an enduring appeal for children.

6. The Very Busy Spider(1985) by Eric Carle

Publisher : Philomel Books

books that teach characterThis book by the same author who produced the best-selling, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, seems like the perfect match for today’s child who is constantly bombarded by distractions.

The story revolves around a little spider who starts to spin her web on a fence post, but is constantly interrupted by other animals who invite her to play with them. The very busy spider ignores all of them, and stays focused and busy on spinning her beautiful web.

This simple but powerful story teaches your child how staying focused and being persistent pays off in the end when the web becomes useful not only for the spider but also for all her animal friends.

7. Purplicious (2007) by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann

Publisher : HarperCollins


If there is one thing your child should learn in order to grow up to be confident, it is to accept herself and simply, be herself.

Pinkalicious has always loved pink and she gets shocked when her schoolmates start to tease her about her choice of favourite colour. Apparently, in a crowd which likes black, pink is not cool.

Despite the pressure and sense of isolation she feels, Pinkalicious stays true to herself, and then realises how fantastic her favourite colour is. Your little one can truly relate to this, especially if she has already started kindergarten.

8. The Boy Who Cried Wolf (2006) by G.Hennesy

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

books that teach character

This is an all-time favourite fable, something you may probably have grown up hearing or reading about.

A young shepherd who feels like he could do with some fun with his otherwise-uneventful life, decides to stir up some excitement in his town. One day, he cries out that a wolf is chasing his sheep, though it isn’t true.

The townspeople rush to help him, but soon realise that they have been tricked. In the end the boy is left sheep-less and jobless.

Your little learner can quickly catch the value of honesty that is evident through the fate of the shepherd.


Do you know of any other good children books that teach character? Do share your recommendations in the comments! 

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Written by

Shoba Nair

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