A Roundup of the Best 18 Books About Lying

Updated Apr. 11, 2019
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich book
#1
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
Written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Grammy

This delightful story is told in absolute opposition to Occam's razor. While the simplest explanation may be the most likely, it can't possibly be so entertaining. On pages drenched with color, we witness the bear's alleged antics; he has so much character and personality. Keep an eye open for the visual jokes. You will want to read this one again and again.

Bear meets sandwich, adventure ensues. . . . A sly classic-in-the-making for fans of Jon Klassen, Peter Brown, and Mo Willems. By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich. But you may not know how it happened. So let me tell you. It all started with the bear . . . So begins Julia Sarcone-Roach’s delicious tale of a bear, lost in the city, who happens upon an unattended sandwich in the park. The bear’s journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing, it’s not until the very end that we begin to suspect this is a TALL tale. The wonderfully told story, spectacular illustrations, and surprise ending make this Julia Sarcone-Roach’s best book to date. You’ll want to share it with your friends (and keep a close eye on your lunch).

The Honest-to-Goodness Truth book
#2
The Honest-to-Goodness Truth
Written by Patricia C McKissack and illustrated by Giselle Potter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This book is definitely on the longer side but it takes a stab at the importance of not only telling the truth but also telling it at the right time, in the right way, for the right reasons! The illustrations are fun and stylized and I appreciate the diversity of the characters.

If telling the truth is the right thing to do, why is the whole world mad at Libby?

The Empty Pot book
#3
The Empty Pot
Written and illustrated by Demi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is a fantastic story about the courage it takes to be honest sometimes, as well as the worth of the truth. The illustrations date the book but are still enjoyable and fit well with the books setting, giving it an air of folklore that fits the instructive but not grating moralizing message.

When Ping admits that he is the only child in China unable to grow a flower from the seeds distributed by the Emperor, he is rewarded for his honesty.

A Day's Work book
#4
A Day's Work
Written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Ronald Himler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Francisco, a young Mexican American boy, tries to help his grandfather find work, he discovers that even though the old man cannot speak English, he has something even more valuable to teach Francisco.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire book
#5
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
Written and illustrated by Diane DeGroat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Gilbert is nervous about portraying George Washington in front of the class, and he feels even worse when he leaves his main prop at home and allows another student to take the blame.

Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big book
#6
Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big
Written and illustrated by Berkeley Breathed
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-18
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The cadence of this book is so fun to listen to, and while it's full of ridiculously big fibs, the consequences for fibbing are equally ridiculous and add humor to the message that fibbing is wrong. I also love the element of sibling relationships—both the ups and the downs.

Edwurd's little sister comes to the rescue when Edwurd's humongous fib lands him in trouble with a three-eyed alien from another galaxy.

Sam Tells Stories book
#7
Sam Tells Stories
Written by Thierry Robberecht and illustrated by Philippe Goossens
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Eager to make friends, Sam decides to tell a story that isn't true in order to win his new classmates over, but when he is confronted with the truth, Sam has to set the record straight and learns an important lesson in the process.

The Berenstain Bears and the Truth book
#8
The Berenstain Bears and the Truth
Written and illustrated by Jan Berenstain, Stan Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Brother and Sister Bear learn how important it is to tell the truth after they accidentally break Mama Bear's most favorite lamp.

Eli's Lie-O-Meter book
#9
Eli's Lie-O-Meter
Written by Sandra Levins and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Eli learns about the consequences of his fibs and the value of telling the truth. Includes note to parents.

Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf book
#10
Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf
Written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by J. Otto Seibold
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When Big Bad Wolf, who now lives at the Villain Villa Retirement Residence, is invited to tell his story at the library, he faces the truth about what he did to the three little pigs and decides to make amends.

A Big Fat Enormous Lie book
#11
A Big Fat Enormous Lie
Written by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and illustrated by David McPhail
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An empty cookie jar and a small boy with a problem lead to one big fat enormous lie.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf book
#12
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
Written by B. G. Hennessy and illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

"Nothing ever happens here," the shepherd thinks. But the bored boy knows what would be exciting: He cries that a wolf is after his sheep, and the town's people come running. How often can that trick work, though? B.G. Hennessy's retelling of this timeless fable is infused with fanciful whimsy through Boris Kulikov's hilarious and ingenious illustrations. This tale is sure to leave readers grinning sheepishly.

The Gruffalo book
#13
The Gruffalo
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. . . .

Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart book
#14
Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Ron Stucki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Edgar, the mischievous toddler, accidentally breaks a statue while roughhousing with his sister, he must decide whether to tell their mother the truth--and Lenore must decide whether or not to tattle.

On the Way Home book
#15
On the Way Home
Written and illustrated by Jill Murphy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Claire hurt her knee and tells everyone she meets on the way home a different story about her injury, including being attacked by the Big Bad Wolf, being abducted by aliens, and being chased by a ghost.

The Boy Who Cried Ninja book
#16
The Boy Who Cried Ninja
Written and illustrated by Alex Latimer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A young boy named Tim is accused of lying when he tells his parents that a ninja ate the last piece of cake and a sunburned crocodile landed on the roof, so he figures out a way to prove that he is telling the truth.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School... book
#17
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School...
Written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

First, some giant ants steal breakfast. Then there are the evil ninjas, massive ape, mysterious mole people, giant blob, and countless other daunting (and astonishing) detours along the way to school. Are these excuses really why this student is late? Or is there another explanation that is even more outrageous than the rest? From Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud, the critically acclaimed author/illustrator team behind I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . . comes a fast-paced, actionpacked, laugh-out-loud story about finding the way to school despite the odds—and the unbelievable oddness!

The Lying King book
#18
The Lying King
Written and illustrated by Alex Beard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-18

Can warthogs fly? Do tigers eat broccoli? For answers, follow along as Warthog lies his way to the throne in this timeless, yet most timely, Tale from the Watering Hole. Will the Truth catch up with the king? ​Find out as Alex Beard's whimsical animals come to life to illuminate real world truths for children of all ages. With a nod to Aesop and Kipling, this funny and pointed parable has lessons for everyone, from the playground to the boardroom and beyond!

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!