Picture Books about Being Well-Balanced and Harmonious
These picture books about being well-balanced show characters learning how to bring balance and harmony into different aspects of their life.
Why Use Picture Books about Being Well-Balanced?
“We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.” IBO
Homework, social media, junk food and extracurricular activities can all have a negative effect on children. Living a well-balanced life is important to anyone’s mental health, and these picture books will help your students understand the benefits of being balanced. This includes reducing stress, improving mental health and overall improved wellbeing.
Picture Books about Being Well-Balanced and Harmonious
These picture books encourage children to think about and discuss their personal, physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. They show the positive and negative sides of trying to live a balanced life. You will see characters who:
- take care of themselves and eat healthily
- are organised
- set and achieve goals
- have a positive mindset
- enjoy learning
- listen to different points of view
- engage in fun activities and regular exercise
- have positive relationships with friends and family
- engage in the wider world
- get enough sleep
There are also characters who shows characteristics of being unbalanced or unharmonious. They may:
- use too much technology or screen time
- not drink enough water
- eat too much
- not get enough sleep or exercise
- do unenjoyable activities
- have no time to relax or enough free time
- have no quality time with family and friends
Questions to Use With Picture Books about Being Well-Balanced
- What does it mean to be balanced?
- Describe how [character] leads a balanced life?
- In what ways was [character] balanced?
- How does being balanced affect [character] quality of life?
- What were the consequences to [character] because of a lack of balance?
- In what ways could [character] live a more balanced life?
- Why is it important [character] tried to be more balanced?
- What strategies could [character] use to be more balanced?
- What good strategies does [character] use to be balanced?
FREE Balance Graphic Organisers for the Learner Profile
Would you like some FREE Learner Profile graphic organisers?
The resource includes a graphic organizer for each learner profile. Fill in the form below to get access to the FREE pack.
You can find the full BALANCED resource pack by clicking on the image.
If you already have access to the free resource library, you will find the freebie in the Learner Profile section.
Picture Books about Being Well-Balanced
A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon
Camilla Cream loves lima beans, but she won’t eat them because her friends hate them. A mystery illness causes her to turn into what others think she should be. No one can figure out what is wrong until Camilla realises she needs to just be herself not bow to peer pressure.
Reinforces themes of balance, self-esteem and growth mindset.
Beautiful Moon - Bella Luna by Dawn Jeffers
Looking at the moon a girl wishes that daytime would go on forever. The next evening the moon doesn't rise and the girl fills her day with fun activities. Becoming tired she understands that we all need day and night, activity and rest.
Read to discuss balanced and self-reflection.
The Beckoning Cat by Koko Nishizuka
The Beckoning Cat is a Japanese symbol of luck that welcomes visitors into shops and restaurants. A boy shows kindness to a stray cat, and in return the cat attracts customers to the family business, helping them care for the sick father.
Read to discuss harmony, balance, appreciation and gratitude.
Big Rabbit's Bad Mood by Ramona Badescu
Big Rabbit’s bad mood won’t stop following him. It is only when his family and friends visit for his birthday that he had forgotten, that his bad mood disappears.
The picture book promotes life balance, emotions, self-management and harmony.
Blackout by John Rocco
One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. One family go up to the roof to escape the heat and without the city lights, they can see the stars. Out on the street, neighbours are talking and playing, enjoying not being busy with technology. When the electricity come back on, everything goes back to normal… well almost.
Use to discuss a sense of community, appreciation, and balance.
Burger Boy by Alan Durant
Benny eats nothing but burgers even as his mother warns him he will turn into one. When her warning comes true his mother makes him eat vegetables which becomes his new obsession.
Reinforces themes of balance, health and self-management.
The Busy Beaver by Nicholas Oldland
A busy beaver only realises the damage his mindless chomping does when he gets hit by one of his own falling trees. He reflects on his destructive behaviour and makes positive changes.
Promotes a balanced life, reflection and a growth mindset.
Don't Let The Peas Touch by Deborah Blumenthal
Sophie refuses to eat her peas because they are touching other foods. Her sister Annie solves the problem with a plate that separates her food.
Reinforces themes of balance, self-management, problem-solving and self-awareness.
Fergal is Fuming by Robert Starling
Fergal the dragon can’t keep friends because of his short temper, particularly when he doesn’t get his own way. He notices others have effective strategies to calm down and he finds his own way to cool down.
This book reinforces self-management, a growth mindset and balance.
A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech
A well-meaning principal learns that learning outside of school can be just as important as being in school.
Reinforces themes of self-management, balance, wellbeing and enthusiasm.
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett
Beatrice Bottomwell has never, ever made a mistake. Until she makes one huge mistake in front of everyone. Will Beatrice realise it is okay to make mistakes and have more fun at the same time?
Reinforces themes of perfectionism, a growth mindset and a balanced life.
The Good Egg by John Jory
A virtuous egg spends its time helping people out, whether it’s needed or wanted! One day The Good Egg cracks (literally) from the pressure of perfection. It takes a much needed break where it learns to live a more balanced life.
Promotes acceptance, balance, wellbeing and self-management.
The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers
The first of two books about being well-balanced by Oliver Jeffers. Residents of a forest notice, to their dismay, that something is chopping down trees. As they attempt to the solve the mystery, they accuse each other before working together to find the culprit. The culprit turns out to be a bear obsessed with becoming a champion airplane maker.
Read to discuss being well-balanced, sustainability and responsible decision-making.
The Hard-Times Jar by Ethel Footman Smothers
Emma Turner loves books. As she can’t afford one she saves her money from picking apples and puts it in her mama’s hard-times jar. When she is ready to start school, she is met with a wonderful surprise.
Reinforces themes of reading, determination, self-management, and immigration.
hello! hello! by Matthew Cordell
Lucy and her family communicate through their electronic devices. When she ventures outside, Lucy finds a whole new world and shares her discoveries with her family. Soon they are saying goodbye to their gadgets and hello to the world.
The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
The second of two books about being well-balanced by Oliver Jeffers. Henry loved to eat books and with every bite, he got smarter and smarter, until letters and words leak out of his mouth. On reflection, he decides he can still be smart by reading a book, it would just take longer.
Use to discuss author's purpose, balance, being knowledgeable and the joy of reading.
Joy by Corrinne Averiss
Fern decides to bring joy back to her Nanna’s life. She attempts to capture the joy she finds in her neighbourhood but Fern learns that it is herself that bring joy to her Nanna.
Reinforces themes of empathy, love, thoughtfulness and kindness.
The Little Red Pen by Janet Stevens
The Little Red Pen becomes too exhausted to mark any more homework and falls into the trash. Her fellow school supplies and a hamster come together to help her out.
Use to discuss cooperation, perseverance, character traits, personification, making connections and creative problem-solving.
Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry by Samantha Berger
Martha does not apologise, ever. She soon learns that if she wants others to cooperate with her, she must apologise for her behaviour.
Promotes themes of balance, cooperation, forgiveness, honesty, manners and reflection.
Mindful Mr Sloth by Katy Hudson
Sasha has one speed… fast. She never sits still and spends little time doing anything before moving on to her next project. Sasha finds Mr Sloth on top of her treehouse, but she has no time to find out how he got there. She has a race to win. Sasha drags Mr Sloth into her bicycle basket and cycles off to win the race. That is until Mr Sloth helps Sasha slow down and be in the moment. Now, Sasha has two speeds, fast and slow.
Use in the classroom to discuss patience, balanced, mindfulness, and self-reflection.
Moon by Alison Oliver
Moon leads a busy life but wants to do things differently. She meets a wolf who teaches her freedom and helps her find more balance in her life.
This book reinforces themes of balance, wellbeing and self-awareness.
More by I. C. Springman
Magpie is a hoarder who always wants more. A group of well-intentioned mice help Magpie understand that more doesn’t mean better.
This book reinforces themes of balance, self-management and materialism.
Nerdy Birdy Tweets by Aaron Reynolds
Nerdy Birdy neglects her friend Vulture when her use of technology and social media takes over.
Reinforces themes of technology use, relationship skills, being well-balanced and self-management.
The Nowhere Box by Sam Zuppardi
George needs to get away from his noisy little brother, quickly. He finds a large box and enters ‘Nowhere’ where he uses his imagination to full effect.
Reinforces themes of balance, imagination and creativity.
The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Celebrate the different skills and talents of children. Empower them to discover their strengths and realise that being OK is a great place to be.
Reinforces themes of balance, commitment, confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem.
The Only Way is Badger by Stella J Jones
Badger thinks badgers are the best and expects everyone to be just like him. He soon learns a lesson in acceptance and that being best is not always important.
Reinforces balance, open-mindedness, responsible-decision making, relationship skills and forgiveness.
Over-Scheduled Andrew by Ashley Spires
Joining his school’s drama club inspires Andrew to join many other groups. As a result, he has to figure out how to balance all the different aspects of his life.
This book reinforces the themes of balance, time management, self-management and organisation.
Piggybook by Anthony Browne
The Piggott men are chauvinistic and unappreciative of the fed-up Mrs. Piggott. She goes on strike, but on their own, the father and two boys literally live like pigs. They plead with her to return and when she does, things are very different.
Use in the classroom to discuss appreciation, gender roles, fairness, respect, responsibility and cooperation.
The Red Tree by Shaun Tan
A small child is overwhelmed by a complex, puzzling and alienating world. She returns to the bedroom, full of emotions to find a tiny red seedling that has grown to fill the room with a warm, comforting light.
Reinforces themes of hope, loneliness, reflection, self-awareness, and balanced.
So Few of Me by Peter H. Reynolds
Leo’s ever-growing to-do list needs two of him. When his wish comes true it only complicates his already busy life. Leo realises he must find a simple solution to his over-complicated life.
This book reinforces the themes of balance, time-management, self-awareness and self-esteem.
Sun and Moon Sisters by Khoa Le
Sisters, Sun and Moon, rule the sky together. They are jealous of each other's powers and decide to switch roles. As a result, they soon learn their relationship needs balance and harmony.
Sweep by Louise Greig
Great piles of autumn leaves illustrate Ed’s growing bad mood. His mood affected the whole town, and he knew something had to change. After a large storm, the town looked brighter and Ed finally notices his surroundings.
This book focuses on anxiety, balance, wellbeing, and reflection.
Sweet Tooth by Margie Palatini
Stewart’s sweet tooth is very loud and shouts out for sugary things. All a bit embarrassing for Stewart. He fights back… with a carrot.
Reinforces themes of being balanced, self-management and a healthy life.
Taking Time by Jo Loring-Fisher
The poetry in this book encourages the reader to take the time to enjoy and experience the world around them. The global children in the book listen to a bird’s song on the breeze, pick up blossom dancing free, and imagine the sounds of the sea.
Use to promote mindfulness, balance, and reflection.
Ten Tiny Things by Meg McKinlay
Tessa and Zachary's machine takes them from here to there and back again. When the machine breaks down the duo have to venture into the real world. As they take in the wonders around them they are no longer distracted by technology and modern conveniences.
Reinforces themes of balance, sustainability, nature and observation.
Tidy by Emily Gravett
Pete the Badger likes everything clean and neat. He takes this too far when he tidies up the forest by concreting it over. After realising the consequences of his actions he sets out to rectify them.
Promotes self-management, cause & effect, responsible decision-making and reflection.
Unplugged by Steve Antony
Blip learns the benefits of unplugging from technology by discovering the world around her. Reinforces the themes of a balanced life, reflection and responsible decision-making.
When We Went Wild by Isabella Tree
Nancy and Jake are farmers who use large machines and chemicals on their deteriorating land. On reflection, they make a big change, and decide to go wild! They ban the chemical, stop using equipment and let the animals graze freely and the fields grow wild.
Promotes taking risks, sustainability, conservation and restoring the countryside.
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There are many great reasons for sharing these children’s books about being well-balanced. Here is a reminder of the key benefits of promoting harmonious and balanced children.
- Reduced stress
- Improved general health and well being
- Improved mental state
- Increased energy
- Improved mood
- More active mind
I hope you enjoyed these books and already have some in your classroom. Do you have any other suggestions of other picture books to teach being balanced? Let me know in the comments below!