Best Children's Books About Hard work

77 Children's Books About Hard work

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Earn It! book
#1
Earn It!
Written and illustrated by Cinders McLeod
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In this delightful introduction to the simple concept of earning money, an exuberant little bunny learns that fame and fortune must be earned. Bun wants to be rich and famous. She loves to sing and knows she’s meant for a career on stage. It should all be pretty easy—her mom can just drive her to the concert hall to perform! But her mom reminds her that most good things, like the garden they are growing, take time and work. At first, Bun isn’t terribly excited by the idea of singing lessons and practice, but as she does the math and daydreams about her future singing career, the more she starts to like the idea of earning her way to stardom—a feeling just as good as being rich and famous!

Alphabet Trucks book
#2
Alphabet Trucks
Written by Samantha R Vamos and illustrated by Ryan O Rourke
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Truck lovers find familiar and unusual trucks and learn where they work and what they do.

Construction book
#3
Construction
Written by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Big machines and their drivers work together to build a library.

Roadwork book
#4
Roadwork
Written by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Big machines and their drivers work together to build a road.

Construction book
#5
Construction
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Digging, pushing, mixing and tipping! Lift the flap to see each vehicle busy at work.

The Very Clumsy Click Beetle book
#6
The Very Clumsy Click Beetle
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A VERY classic from Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar! When a little click beetle falls onto his back, he seeks the help of a wise old click beetle. “Look at me,” says the more experienced click beetle, giving a loud CLICK and flipping onto its feet. But try as he might, the clumsy little click beetle just can’t get the hang of it–or can he? In the tradition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Carle creates a winning story of perseverance and pride in achievement complete with an ingenious fiber-optic microchip that truly gives voice to the valiant little beetle as it CLICKs its way through the colorful pages and somersaults into your heart.

Dig, Dump, Roll book
#7
Dig, Dump, Roll
Written by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock, Sally Sutton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Diggers, dump trucks, rollers, and more—it takes a lot of big, noisy machines to build a school! Every young child who has ever gawked at a building site will gravitate to this exciting new entry in the kid pleasing Construction Crew series.

Firebird book
#8
Firebird
Written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl–an every girl–whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl’s faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird. Lyrical and affecting text paired with bold, striking illustrations that are some of Caldecott Honoree Christopher Myers’s best work, makes Firebird perfect for aspiring ballerinas everywhere.

Farm book
#9
Farm
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Collecting, lifting, transporting, and delivering! Lift the flap to see each vehicle busy at work. Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills - and simply joining in!

My Story, My Dance book
#10
My Story, My Dance
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

A boy discovers his passion for dance and becomes a modern hero in this inspiring picture book biography of Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. When Robert Battle was a boy wearing leg braces, he never dreamed he’d study at Juilliard. Though most dancers begin training at an early age, it wasn’t until Robert was a teenager that his appreciation for movement—first from martial arts, then for ballet—became his passion. But support from his family and teachers paired with his desire and determination made it possible for Robert to excel. After years of hard work, the young man who was so inspired by a performance of Alvin Ailey’s Revelations became the artistic director of the very company that motivated him. Today, under Robert’s leadership, Alvin Ailey continues to represent the African American spirit through dance. Featuring illustrations brimming with vibrant color and swirling motion, this biographical picture book from husband-and-wife team James Ransome and Lisa Cline-Ransome includes a foreword from Robert Battle himself as well as a bibliography, suggested further reading, and an author’s note. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded in 1958 by choreographer Alvin Ailey. He envisioned a company dedicated to enriching the American modern dance heritage and preserving the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience. When Mr. Ailey began creating dances, he drew upon his “blood memories” of his home state of Texas, the blues, spirituals, and gospel inspiration, which resulted in the creation of his most popular and critically acclaimed work, Revelations. Since its founding, the company has performed in seventy-one countries on six continents. It’s repertory includes works by Mr. Ailey and ninety other choreographers, and new works are commissioned each year. Judith Jamison succeeded Mr. Ailey as artistic director, and in 2011, she selected Robert Battle to be her successor. Learn more at AlvinAiley.org.

Froggy Rides a Bike book
#11
Froggy Rides a Bike
Written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Froggy just got his very first bike, and it's exactly what he wanted. Almost. Finishing touches like a bell and a horn have to be added before Froggy is ready to ride. Then, surrounded by cheering friends, Froggy starts to pedal. Oops! He falls off. He tries again. Oops! Riding a bike is hard! After a long day, and a few bumps and bruises, Froggy finally learns to ride?and once he does, he can?t wait to go again. Froggy Rides a Bike is a reassuring reminder that practice makes perfect and it's sure to make kids eager to learn to ride on their own.

Mom and Dad's Go to Work book
#12
Mom and Dad's Go to Work
Written and illustrated by Alessandra Psacharopulo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Spend the day with mom and dad at work! Every child wants to know: what do mom and dad do all day? Kids can come along and see, with this entertaining board book that introduces a variety of professions. Some parents grab a medical bag, others put on a hard hat, and still more go to the office. But whatever they do, they all return home ready to hug their little ones.

Blueberries for Sal book
#13
Blueberries for Sal
Written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

What happens when Sal and her mother meet a mother bear and her cub? A beloved classic is born! Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk! Sal and her mother a picking blueberries to can for the winter. But when Sal wanders to the other side of Blueberry Hill, she discovers a mama bear preparing for her own long winter. Meanwhile Sal’s mother is being followed by a small bear with a big appetite for berries! Will each mother go home with the right little one? With its expressive line drawings and charming story, Blueberries for Sal has won readers’ hearts since its first publication in 1948.

Hey, Coach! book
#14
Hey, Coach!
Written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Kim Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

"Hey, Coach! Guess what? I m on your team." GOAL! This sprightly rhyming picture book captures all the fun and energy of very young children having a blast on the soccer field. Over the course of their first season, the players progress from unsure newcomers to enthusiastic good sports who love the game and even score! The humor and the real-kid voices will have readers rooting for this spirited and determined team."

Hamsters Don't Fight Fires! book
#15
Hamsters Don't Fight Fires!
Written by Andrew Root and illustrated by Jessica Olien
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Hugo, a tiny hamster with huge personality, who dreams of becoming a firefighter! Andrew Root’s debut is a sweet, funny tale for the youngest readers, who know that being little can be the biggest advantage of all. With fun-filled illustrations from Jessica Olien, author/artist of The Blobfish Book, Shark Detective!, and Adrift, Hugo proves once and for all that great things come in small packages. For Hugo isn’t just a hamster. He’s also a great cook, a fast runner, a slow eater, and a fantastic dancer. However, what Hugo wants most of all is to be a firefighter. And even though Hugo worries that he’s too small to fight fires, he learns that just because something is difficult, it doesn’t mean he won’t try his hardest to achieve his dream. Perfect for fans of Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri and Dream Big Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi and Tim Bowers.

Hooray! My Butt Left the Bench! book
#16
Hooray! My Butt Left the Bench!
Written by Henry Winkler and illustrated by Lin Oliver
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In this winning addition to the easy-to-read bestselling series, Hank has to hustle to prove he can be his basketball team's secret weapon! For two years running, Hank's school has beaten their arch rivals at the annual second grade basketball game. When his friends try out, Hank is determined to play, too. There's just one problem: Hank is terrible at basketball. Luckily Dr. Dunk (AKA Hank's dad) and Hank's friends have his back. With a little help, Hank just might be what the team needs to win their first three-peat in PS 87 history! This bestselling series written by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver is perfect for the transitional reader. With a unique, easy-to-read font, endless humor, and characters every kid would want to be friends with, any story with Hank is a slam dunk! From the Trade Paperback edition.

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole book
#17
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole
Written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.

The Rhino in Right Field book
#18
The Rhino in Right Field
Written and illustrated by Stacy DeKeyser
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A boy who loves baseball must get past his hard-working immigrant parents—and the rhino in the outfield—to become a batboy in this laugh-out-loud middle-grade novel in the tradition of The Sandlot.

Polonius the Pit Pony book
#19
Polonius the Pit Pony
Written by Richard O'Neill and illustrated by Feronia Parker-Thomas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

When Polonius the pit pony escapes from the coal mine he's worked in all his life, he joins a family of Travelers. Although he enjoys the freedom and the fresh air that their lifestyle offers, he wishes he could give something back to the family in return. When the chance arrives for him to do something to help, he rises to the challenge, and uses his intelligence and skills to save the day. Based on true events and retold by a master of the oral tradition, this story bears witness to the Traveler values of independence, initiative, courage and hard work.

Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe book
#20
Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe
Written by Deborah Blumenthal and illustrated by Laura Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A beautiful picture book about Ann Cole Lowe, a little-known African-American fashion designer who battled personal and social adversity in order to pursue her passion of making beautiful gowns and went on to become one of society’s top designers. Wisps of cloth would fall from their worktables like confetti, and Ann would scoop them up and turn them into flowers as bright as roses in the garden. Ann’s family came from Alabama. Her great grandma had been a slave, so her family knew about working hard just to get by. As soon as Ann Cole Lowe could walk, her momma and grandma taught her to sew. She worked near her momma in their Alabama family shop in the early 1900s, making glorious dresses for women who went to fancy parties. When Ann was 16, her momma died, and Ann continued sewing dresses. It wasn’t easy, especially when she went to design school and had to learn alone, segregated from the rest of the class. But the work she did set her spirit soaring, as evidenced in the clothes she made, including Jackie Kennedy's wedding dress and Olivia de Havilland's dress at the Oscars when she won for Best Actress in To Each His Own. Rarely credited, Ann Cole Lowe became “society’s best kept secret.” This beautiful picture book shines the spotlight on a little-known visionary who persevered in times of hardship, always doing what she was passionate about: making elegant gowns for the women who loved to wear them.

Mighty Tug book
#21
Mighty Tug
Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrated by David Mottram
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From early in the morning until time to say, "Good night," Mighty Tug works in the busy harbor, guiding cargo ships, pulling barges, and helping with rescues.

The Major Eights 4: Starstruck book
#22
The Major Eights 4: Starstruck
Written by Melody Reed and illustrated by Emilie Pepin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book four of the Major Eights series, Becca shoots, but will she score a meet and greet with her favorite basketball player? When Becca finds out about her school's free throw competition, she is ready to put her basketball skills to the test! And if she wins, she'll get to meet her favorite basketball player! But after a series of bad practices, her nerves start to get the best of her. Can the Major Eights help Becca regain her confidence and meet her hero?

This Little Reindeer book
#23
This Little Reindeer
Written by Aly Fronis and illustrated by Luke Flowers
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A fun, Christmas-themed twist on the classic nursery rhyme “This Little Piggy”! This little reindeer went to market. This little reindeer loaded the sleigh. This little reindeer did some stretching. And this little reindeer mapped the way. These little reindeer have a lot of work to do to prepare for Chistmas! One goes to the market, one loads Santa's sleigh, one stretches, one cooks some treats, and one plays in the snow. Now they're all ready to deliver presents and wish you a Merry Christmas!

Mitford at the Fashion Zoo book
#24
Mitford at the Fashion Zoo
Written and illustrated by Donald Robertson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Mitford is a giraffe. But not your everyday, live-on-the-savannah giraffe. Mitford lives in the city. But not your everyday, filled-with-people city. This city is filled with animals. Animals who like to dress up, especially the animals who work at COVER magazine. Mitford would do ANYTHING to work there. But first Mitford must prove himself. Can Mitford survive the Fashion Zoo?!

The Major Eights 3: The Goo Disaster! book
#25
The Major Eights 3: The Goo Disaster!
Written by Melody Reed and illustrated by Emilie Pepin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book three of the Major Eights series, Maggie has to ace her science fair project or she won't be able to perform with the band at the annual arts banquet! Maggie is thrilled to perform with the Major Eights at the school's annual arts fund-raising banquet. But when Maggie's science grade starts slipping (her one difficult subject), her mom refuses to let her play at the banquet unless she can get an A on her science fair project. Can Maggie and the girls find a way to make sure Maggie aces the project?

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.