31 Picture Books to Inspire Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem in Kids
These children’s books on self-esteem promote a positive self-image, taking responsibility for their own actions, making positive life choices and standing up for themselves.
Promoting Self-Esteem in Kids
We cannot teach our students to have positive self-esteem, but we can encourage and foster their self-confidence and positivity. This is easier said than done as most people struggle with self-esteem issues, maybe stemming from doubt, identity, fitting in, disapproval or struggling to stand up for themselves.
These picture books on self-esteem are a wonderful tool to foster a positive self-image and self-confidence. You can use them to spark discussions on how they are affected by their self-esteem and what they can do to feel more self-confident, try new things, and understand mistakes are not a failure.
These picture books promote the positive side effects of high self-esteem, including:
- Taking responsibility for our actions
- Forming positive relationships
- Feeling confident and respected
- Feeling proud of our achievements
- Understanding mistakes is part of learning
- Being resilient and independent
- Being confident of our decisions in the face of peer pressure
- Having a positive self-image
You can find more books on self-esteem, and self-esteem resources here.
Picture Books on Self-Esteem
This collection of picture books promotes positive self-esteem in kids and helps them make positive life choices. They cover the issues mentioned above and promote the message we are all special. They also include characters who struggle with their self-esteem, including:
- Lacking confidence and being self-critical
- Comparing themselves with their peers
- Being vulnerable to peer pressure
- Struggling to make or keep positive friendships
- Feeling frustrated, anxious, sad, jealous and angry
- Dealing with new challenges by quitting or avoiding them
- Lacking the interesting to learn new things because they think they will fail
- Focusing on failure rather than success and achievements
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Elmer by David McKee
Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
I Can Be Anything! by Jerry Spinelli
I Don’t Want to be a Frog by Dev Petty
Jack (Not Jackie) by Erica Silverman
Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival
So Few of Me by Peter H. Reynolds
Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Spork by Kyo Maclear
Stanley Paste by Aaron Blabey
Verdi by Janell Cannon
Self-Esteem Discussion Questions
- What is the difference between high self-esteem and low self-esteem?
- Why do you think [character] had low/high self-esteem?
- What actions did [character] take because of their low/high self-esteem?
- How did [character] feel when they compared themselves to others?
- Could [character] change their self-esteem? How?
- Why do you think [character] struggled to control their emotions?
- If [character] had managed their emotions/behaviour, what do you think the outcome would have been?
- What could [character] do to manage their emotions/behaviour?
- What strategies could [character] have used to manage their stress?
- How do you think [character] overcame their challenges?
- Why do you think [character] got so angry/jealous/upset?
- What could [character] learn from their mistakes? How?
- How did [character] change throughout the book?
- What lesson did [character] learn? Do you think they now have higher self-esteem?
- What previous knowledge did [character] use? How did it help them?
- How did [character] deal with feeling [scared, anxious, jealous, sad etc.]?
- What was the most important moment in the story? Why?
- What do you think [character] learnt about themselves by the end of the book? How do you think they will use this knowledge?
- What factors hindered [character] from being successful?
- Is there anything [character] could do differently next time? What?
- What other strategies could [character] try?
- Why do you think [character] fears trying something new?
- What can [character] learn from their mistake?
- Did [character] ask for help when they needed it? Would it have made a difference?
- How was [character] able to turn their failure into a success?
- Do you agree with the way [character] dealt with their failure/disappointment? Explain your answer.
I hope reading these books on self esteem help your students to deal with negative situations that can cause low self-confidence, try new things and understand their mistakes are part of a learning process.
What are your favourite books to read in your classroom or library to foster self-confidence and self-esteem?
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