Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to consequences. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about consequences.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about consequences, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Fakers to popular sellers like Tumble & Blue to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold.
We hope this list of kids books about consequences can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
Santa has a problem. This kid? Harold? Santa doesn’t think he’s real. He WANTS to believe in Harold–after all, Harold is one of the most magical parts of Christmas. Getting Harold’s letters, eating the cookies he leaves out, feeding his carrots to the reindeer… what would Christmas be without that? But Santa’s just not sure. Some of his friends are telling him they think Harold’s not real. And the Harold that sat on his knee last Christmas looked AWFULLY different. Santa comes up with a plan to find out once and for all if Harold really exists… with hilarious consequences.
“Looking for a fantastically fast-paced and funny read? Your wish is granted!” —Chris Grabenstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
Twelve-year-old Ace’s life is about to change in the most unexpected and magical ways—all because of a peanut butter jar.
When he opens it, he inadvertently releases a genie named Ridge. Now a Wishmaker, Ace is given a week to complete a seemingly impossible quest, and if he fails the world will end in the most tragic (but cuddly) way imaginable.
Luckily, Ridge can help by granting Ace an unlimited number of wishes…as long as Ace is willing to accept the consequences. The bigger the wish, the greater the consequence. So, if Ace wants to avoid having pogo sticks for legs or his clothes turn invisible, he’ll have to be careful what he wishes for and get a little creative.
Perfect for fans of Dan Gutman and Max Brallier, this new middle grade series by Tyler Whitesides (author of the Janitors series) is a wonderful mix of unpredictable magic, zany humor, and daring adventure. You’ll wish it never ends!
The dynamic team behind Llama Destroys the World returns with a laugh-out-loud tale about the dangers…of feeding pigeons! When you see a coo, you will be tempted to give it a treat. Coos are adorable, peaceful, kind of silly. But DON’T FEED THE COO! If you feed one, they will ALL come… So begins Don’t Feed the Coos, a cautionary tale that details the fallout when a little girl decides to share some bread with a coo (aka pigeon). From the park to home to the arcade to karate practice, the coos follow the generous-but-foolish girl who didn’t heed the warning. Because when you give a coo a crumb…the entire population of coos will come! But fret not: our spunky little heroine will discover that even the biggest of problems can be solved with a little determination. In the grand tradition of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Don’t Feed the Coos reminds us that the most disastrous of reactions can come from the most innocent of actions. Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox deliver another ridiculous and hilarious story, sure to delight fans of The Bad Seed and I Want My Hat Back.
Henry Bear has very unusual parents. They encourage him to stay up all night, eat chocolate cake at every meal, and get into trouble with his teacher. Why? Find out in this droll tale about making wishes with unanticipated consequences written and illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Liam Francis Walsh, author of Fish, which Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called “full-bodied” and “rewarding.”
What would happen if polar bears disappeared from the planet? Find out in this gorgeous, accessible nonfiction picture book that imagines the consequences of a world without polar bears.
Fakers - From the Trojan horse to fake news, scams have run rampant throughout history and across the globe. Some con artists do it for fun, others for profit. . . and every once in a while, a faker saves the world. In this era of daily online hoaxes, it’s easy to be caught off-guard. Fakers arms kids with information, introducing them to the funniest, weirdest, and most influential cons and scams in human history. Profiles of con artists will get readers thinking about motivation and consequence, and practical tips will help protect them from falsehoods. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is–except in the case of this book!
Tumble & Blue - When the red moon rises over the heart of the Okefenokee swamp, legend says that the mysterious golden gator Munch will grant good luck to the poor soul foolish enough to face him. But in 1817, when TWO fools reach him at the same time, the night’s fate is split. With disastrous consequences for both . . . and their descendants. Half of the descendants have great fates, and the other half have terrible ones. Now, Tumble Wilson and Blue Montgomery are determined to fix their ancestors’ mistakes and banish the bad luck that’s followed them around for all of their lives. They’re going to face Munch the gator themselves, and they’re going to reclaim their destinies. But what if the legend of Munch is nothing but a legend, after all?
The Strongest Mom - Little Bear is sure that no one is as strong as his mom. She can carry anything: his bike, Zebra’s shopping, Elephant’s carpet, even Flamingo’s piano! And, of course, there’s always room in her handbag for Little Bear’s treasures. But when Mom takes on one thing too many, with hilarious and heart-warming consequences, Little Bear learns even moms need a helping hand sometimes.
I Always, ALWAYS Get My Way - From carefully aimed pouts and shifting blame to the threat of an all-out tantrum, this laugh-out-loud story for kids and adults focuses on the clever antics, advantage-taking, limit-testing, and childhood shenanigans of three-year-old Emmy. When Emmy spills juice and her dad’s pants get “orange-hosed,” she takes refuge behind Mom’s knee. Expecting a reprimand, Emmy is surprised when Mom tells Dad, “Now, sweetheart, you should let it be. After all . . . she’s only three.” Once Emmy discovers that she’s too young to be punished, she constantly wrangles her way out of trouble by proclaiming, “I’m only three!” and pulls a handy weapon from her arsenal of manipulative maneuvers. With hilarious, rhyming text and energetic ink and watercolor illustrations that capture Emmy’s expressions, from angelic to livid, readers discover that Emmy can’t get away with her outrageous behavior forever and that her actions do eventually have consequences.
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