We all want our children to grow into kind, thoughtful, caring people, considerate to those around them. With so much negative influence from the internet and popular culture, it can sometimes feel like an uphill battle to affirm positive values at home.
Reading is a great way to instill good values in children at a young age, helping them master those valuable life lessons early on. So with that in mind, here are ten beautifully illustrated books to teach children good values.
An Awesome Book of Thanks by Dallas Clayton
It’s a miracle that our world started from nothing and is now filled with wonders and delights, yet all too often we forget to be thankful. This magical book is a wonderful reminder of all the things we have to be thankful for, great and small.
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Join Christopher Robin, Pooh Bear, and all their friends on their adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood in this timeless classic. Laugh out loud, as Pooh and his friends hunt for woozles, celebrate Eeyore’s birthday with some unusual gifts, and go in search of the north pole. Along the way, they learn the importance of friendship, generosity, and empathy.
A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
After a fire destroys their apartment and all their belongings, a little girl, her mother, and her grandmother all save their hard earned pennies in a jar until one day they can find the perfect comfy chair for her mother to rest in after a hard day’s work. This heartwarming book is full of vitality, and teaches children about the importance of families working together.
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
Chloe can’t say why she turned away when the new girl, Maya, tried to befriend her, but she did, and she turned away the next time Maya tried too. Every time Maya tries to play with the girls, the answer is no, so she plays by herself. But one day, Maya is gone and Chloe realizes it is too late to be kind. This poignant picture book reminds us that each opportunity to do someone a kindness is one we should take.
It Could Always Be Worse by Margot Zemach
Once upon a time a poor man lived with his wife and six children in a small one room house. With so little space the family were always arguing, so the man ran to his rabbi for help. But the rabbi’s unusual advice only made the situation worse… or did it? This retelling of a classic Jewish folk tale will have you rolling with laughter, and appreciating that, well, it could always be worse.
The Empty Pot by Demi
From a Jewish folk tale, to a Chinese folk tale about the importance of honesty. There was once a little boy who loved to grow beautiful flowers. One day, the emperor summons all the children and tells them that whoever can grow the most beautiful flower from the seed that he gives them will be the next emperor. The little boy is sure that his flower will be the most beautiful, but the seed refuses to grow…
Elmer by David McKee
If only Elmer were a normal colored elephant instead of being a bright patchwork color, then the other elephants would stop laughing at him! But by embracing who he is, Elmer learns to bring joy and laughter to those around him. A firm favorite with children worldwide for over 30 years, Elmer is sure to delight.
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr Seuss
Duckie is a young boy who feels quite unlucky, but an old man he met in the Desert of Drize recounts the tales of plenty of people in more precarious situations than he. This whimsical tale emphasizes the importance of optimism and being grateful for what we have, while at the same time doing what we can to improve our lot.
The Huge Bag of Worries by Virginia Ironside
Wherever Jenny goes, her huge blue bag of worries go with her. They’re by her while she watches TV, and follow her when she goes swimming. They’re even with her when she visits the bathroom. How can she get rid of them? One day, a kindly lady shows her that if she looks inside the bag, the worries shrink right down. Another book that has stood the test of time, it’s perfect for teaching children to face their fears rather than dragging them around.
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
Brian is The Invisible Boy - never invited to tea, or to birthday parties, to play with the others or to join in. But when Justin, the new boy, turns up, Brian makes him feel welcome. And when they work together on a project, Justin helps Brian to shine, proving that a simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend.
For more great books packed with important life lessons and good values, why not check out the Heroes of Liberty range? Each book tells the real life story of someone who, during their lifetimes, embodies the sorts of values that built America into the fine nation it is today.
People like Clara Barton, who, as a child, helped nurse her older brother David back to health after a near-fatal accident, and went on to use those nursing skills to nurse soldiers in the Civil War, earning her the nickname ‘The Angel of the Battlefield’. In later life, she also founded the American Red Cross, helping many more Americans over the years.
Or Harriet Tubman, who was born a poor slave girl in the South, but whose strong belief in liberty gave her the courage to free herself and lead dozens of fellow slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad.
With a new book released every month, you’ll be sure to find the perfect story for your children.