Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to fixing mistakes. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about fixing mistakes.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. 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 fixing mistakes, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Magic Shoelaces to popular sellers like A Bargain for Frances to some of our favorite hidden gems like Beautiful Oops!.
We hope this list of kids books about fixing mistakes can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Where have all the bedtime stories gone? A delightful addition to the picture book canon about the love of reading One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down…when a Snatchabook flew into town. It’s bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza Brown decides to to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook.
A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator. An award winning, best-selling, one-of-a-kind interactive book, Beautiful Oops! shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.
It’s Cement Mixer’s first day on the job and he doesn’t want to make any mistakes. How can he help the other trucks on the construction site? By mixing some powdery white cement, of course!
He mixes it up, adds a little water, and presto . . . a cake?! He must have mixed flour instead of cement.
Not to worry, he’ll try again . . . and presto! Frosting?! He’ll keep trying until he gets it just right and it’s time for one more mixing: a bubble bath!
Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this memorable picture book debut about the creative process, and the way in which “mistakes” can blossom into inspiration
One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake. The weird frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush. And the inky smudges… they look as if they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky.
As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too.
Fans of Peter Reynolds’s Ish and Patrick McDonnell’s A Perfectly Messed-Up Story will love the funny, poignant, completely unique storytelling of The Book of Mistakes. And, like Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, it makes the perfect graduation gift, encouraging readers to have a positive outlook as they learn to face life’s obstacles.
Every day, Jim Hickory the lumberjack heads into the forest with his trusty axe and chops down trees. Unfortunately, all sorts of creatures lose their homes in the process, so Jim gives them a home in his beard - until one day it all just gets too much. Time for Jim to come up with a better solution! A story with a green message.
Mary Had a Little Lab - Mary is an enterprising young inventor. She wants a pet, but it isn’t one she can easily buy…so she makes one with the Sheepinator! Mary’s pet sheep and her new invention make her popular with her classmates. But when she starts making sheep for her new friends, things go hilariously awry. Can Mary invent a way to fix this mess?
I Am a Thief! - When Eliza Jane Murphy—line leader, captain of the worm rescue team—impulsively pockets a sparkly green stone from her classroom’s “Exploring Green” display table, her heart crumples. My heart stopped singing. My letters went wonky. I was too heavy to swing! I wanted to put it back . . . But what if someone saw? But when she discovers that nearly everyone in her family took something once in their lives—from her baby brother and mom, to her nana with her sausage-stealing dog—Eliza overcomes her shame to make things right. A hilarious and heartfelt story about stealing and finding the courage to do the right thing.
Even Superheroes Make Mistakes - Even superheroes slip up and err. When that happens, do they complain or give up in despair? NO! Whether they’ve nabbed the wrong guy by mistake or bashed into a planet while zooming through space, all superheroes ‘fess up their mess-up and keep on saving the world in the most super way! This follow-up to Even Superheroes Have Bad Days teaches kids another humorous lesson in overcoming adversity.
Mini Myths: Be Careful, Icarus! - After little Icarus and his dad make a bird-shaped kite, Dad warns Icarus to hold on to the string and not let it fly too high. But Icarus disobeys, and soon the kite gets caught in the trees! Dad helps him repair the kite so they can play with it again, and Icarus learns the importance of being careful. Joan Holub’s carefully crafted text is brought to life by Leslie Patricelli’s famously humorous illustrations. Includes a summary of the original Icarus myth.
Eraser is always cleaning up everyone else’s mistakes. Except for Ruler and Pencil Sharpener, none of the other school supplies seem to appreciate her. They all love how sharp Pencil is and how Tape and Glue help everyone stick together. Eraser wants to create so that she can shine like the others. She decides to give it a try, but it’s not until the rubber meets the road that Eraser begins to understand a whole lot about herself.
Inspired by a school essay their daughter Kate wrote in the third grade, the author and illustrator behind Theodor Seuss Geisel Award–winner You Are (Not) Small have created a desktop drama about figuring out who you are, finding happiness, and the importance of second, third, and maybe even fourth chances.
Frances and Thelma are friends — most of the time
Thelma always seems to get Frances into trouble. When she tricks Frances into buying her tea set, it’s the last straw. Can Frances show her that it’s better to lose a bargain than lose a friend?
Fans of Olivia and Lilly will delight in Poppy, a little rabbit with big dreams—and an even bigger personality.
More than anything, Poppy wants to be a verrrry famous writer. She’s sure Mrs. Rose will pick her paper to read to the whole class! Trouble is, she has tall ambitions but is short on effort, and her jealousy takes over when her best friend’s paper is chosen instead. In the end, Poppy discovers that she has to get out of her own way if her big dreams are going to come true.
Rosalinde’s adorable, expressive illustrations make memorable, quirky Poppy a real star!
Can the OCTOPUPPY be the perfect pet?
Edgar wanted a dog. Instead, he got an octopus named Jarvis.
Jarvis is brilliant and does his best to act like the dog Edgar wants, but nothing he does is good enough to please Edgar. Ultimately, Edgar recognizes that while Jarvis might not be the dog he wanted, he is special in his own endearing way.
When Matthew trades his shoelaces for magic ones that never come untied, he soon discovers that this has some disadvantages.
Lost and Found Perl - Unlikely best friends Arnold and Louise—a big bear and a chatty chipmunk—are back in this easy-to-read chapter book series! When Louise borrows Arnold’s newly found treasure, he’s sure he’ll never see it again. After all, she loses just about everything he lends her. Louise swears she hasn’t lost it, but to get it back, she sends Arnold on a treasure hunt of her own—or is it a wild goose chase?
Tie-Dye Disaster - In this third book of the Craftily Ever After chapter book series, Maddie, Emily, Bella, and Sam accidentally tie-dye a shirt Maddie’s mother made for the mayor! Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. Maddie gets her knack for fashion and sewing from her mom, a seamstress. And she’s made a lot for an eight-year-old—from theater costumes, to brand-new pairs of pants, to pillows for the Craft Clubhouse. But she’s never tie-dyed before! Maddie, Emily, Bella, and Sam have lots of fun turning clothing bright, groovy colors. But then something not so bright and groovy happens. The kids accidentally tie-dye a shirt Maddie’s mother made for the mayor of the town! They try all sorts of things to fix their mistake, but nothing works. What is the foursome going to do about their tie-dye disaster? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.
Love Is My Favorite Thing - Starring an enthusiastic pooch whose joy, optimism and love know no bounds, this lively picture book is based on Emma Chichester Clark’s own dog, and joyfully celebrates unconditional love. Plum has lots of favorite things—catching sticks, her bear, her bed—but really, LOVE is her absolute favorite thing. She loves her family and all the things they do together. Sometimes, however, Plum’s exuberance causes trouble, and she just can’t help being naughty. But fortunately, love is such a great thing that even when she makes mistakes, Plum’s family still adores her.
Heidi Heckelbeck Is So Totally Grounded! - When a cleaning spell goes awry, Heidi gets so totally grounded in the twenty-fourth Heidi Heckelbeck adventure! When Mom asks for help cleaning the house, Heidi takes her magic a little too far. After all, who really wants to deal with all that dust, dirt, and grime? Not Heidi, that’s who! So she creates a cleaning helper named Dusty to do her dirty work. There’s only one problem: Dusty isn’t the most careful cleaner, and when he accidentally breaks Mom’s favorite vase, Heidi gets so totally grounded. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Heidi Heckelbeck chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.
Because of a recent string of embarrassing behavior, Kitty’s cat license has been revoked and she must take a test to get it back so she can still be a cat.
While her parents are out to dinner, a bored Yasmin decides to try on some of her mother’s clothes, including her new shalwar kameez, which gets ripped—but with the help of Nana, Nani, and a glue-gun, the garment gets fixed, and Yasmin puts on an impromptu fashion show when her parents get home.
Max is a four-year-old whirlwind who doesn’t have an off switch! His socks are odd, his bedroom is chaotic, and his mind is so full of imaginative schemes that following even the simplest of instructions can end in mayhem. Max’s bedtime routine, so seemingly simple, becomes a military operation for Max with many obstacles to overcome - tidying his bedroom, putting on his pyjamas, and feeding his pet goldfish! Illustrated with non-stop energy by exciting new author/illustrator, Julia Patton.
Timothy is on probation. It’s a strange word—something that happens to other kids, to delinquents, not to kids like him. And yet, he is under house arrest for the next year. He must check in weekly with a probation officer and a therapist, and keep a journal for an entire year. And mostly, he has to stay out of trouble. But when he must take drastic measures to help his struggling family, staying out of trouble proves more difficult than Timothy ever thought it would be. By turns touching and funny, and always original, House Arrest is a middlegrade novel in verse about one boy’s path to redemption as he navigates life with a sick brother, a grieving mother, and one tough probation officer.
“Cheery and affirming.” —Kirkus From Grammy Award–winning musician and TV host Tim Kubart and illustrator Lori Richmond comes a lively picture book debut that reassures children that it’s okay to make mistakes! When a girl drops her snack or scrapes her knee, does she get upset? No! She says, “Oopsie-do!” Readers will delight as they follow along and call out the OOPSIE-DO! refrain throughout the story. This delightful picture book also includes the link to a free original song by Grammy winner Tim Kubart, available for download and sure to be a part of every repeat reading.
Mini Myths: Be Patient, Pandora! - When Pandora is warned by her mother not to open a box, her spirited curiosity trumps her obedience. Pandora harmlessly touches the box, innocently leans on the box, and eventually, albeit accidentally, bursts the box open! The cupcakes that were hidden inside are ruined, except for one last vestige, which Pandora presents in the hope that her mother still loves her. Leslie Patricelli’s depictions of this physical comedy bring a lively narrative to Joan Holub’s carefully crafted text. Includes a summary of the original Pandora’s Box myth at the end.
Rocky Zang in the Amazing Mr. Magic - Abracadabra! Kalamazoo! Rocky and Judy astound and amaze in the Greatest Backyard Magic Show on Earth! Rocky is perfecting the tricks for his magic show when Judy Moody offers to be his assistant. Rocky agrees, but it turns out that Judy — or Stella the Spectacular as she calls herself — is the most UN-spectacular assistant ever. When she gets ketchup all over the magic rabbit, the Amazing Mr. Magic has had enough! Is Rocky’s magic good enough to mend his and Judy’s friendship? From Megan McDonald comes a Judy Moody story just right for newly independent readers.
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?
Too Much Glue - Matty LOVES glue. At home with Dad, he makes glue glasses, glue mustaches, and glue bouncy balls. But at school, Matty’s art teacher worries and warns, “Too much glue never dries.” In art class one day, Matty decides to make the most fantastic glue project ever, with a super-special ingredient – himself! Ignoring his teacher’s warnings, Matty belly-flops onto the glue-covered table, rolls all around in the sequins and glitter, and encounters an unexpected glitch – when he tries to get up, he boings right back into the slippery, sticky mess! This calls for a dose of imagination and a little help from friends. They try a gigantic tow truck, some yarn lassoes, and dabbing Matty with everything in the nurse’s bag – but each wacky attempt only makes things worse! Finally Matty gets an idea from his hyperventilating teacher. Will it work, or will Matty be a half-boy, half-art project stuck- to-a-table forever?
When a clumsy armadillo named Lola knocks over a glass pitcher, she sets off a silly chain of events, encountering chaos wherever she goes. But accidents happen—just ask the stoat snarled in spaghetti, the airborne sheep, and the bull who has broken a whole shop’s worth of china. In the tradition of beloved books like The Dot and Beautiful Oops, this charming, hilarious debut from author-illustrator Andrea Tsurumi shows that mistakes don’t have to be the end of the world.
Sofia helps her abuela make arroz con leche for the church dinner, but things don’t go as planned. Find out if Sofia is able to fix the recipe so her grandma isn’t embarrassed in this early chapter book.
After being told not to sword fight in the house, Art and Lance move to the backyard where they begin jousting on cows, but even there the boys manage to get into trouble as they flatten their mother’s daffodils just before the big daffodil contest.
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