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Patience: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about patience?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to patience. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about patience.

Our list includes picture 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. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about patience, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake to popular sellers like Waiting to some of our favorite hidden gems like When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox.

We hope this list of kids books about patience can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Waiting
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What are you waiting for? An owl, a puppy, a bear, a rabbit, and a pig—all toys arranged on a child’s windowsill—wait for marvelous things to happen in this irresistible picture book by the New York Times–bestselling and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes.

Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait! What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?

Waiting is a big part of childhood—waiting in line, waiting to grow up, waiting for something special to happen—but in this book, a child sets the stage and pulls the strings. Timeless, beautiful, and deeply heartfelt, this picture book about imaginative play, the seasons, friendship, and surprises marks a new pinnacle in Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes’s extraordinary career.

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Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake
Written by Michael Kaplan & illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

From her first bite, young Betty Bunny likes chocolate cake so much that she claims she will marry it one day, and she has trouble learning to wait patiently until she can have her next taste.

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When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan & illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In this delightful story, by the same author who wrote When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, a boy is disappointed with his grandfather’s gift—until he learns he can use it to build exactly what he wanted with his own two hands, and a little help from grandpa, of course!

You asked for a special house for your dolls; but instead Grandpa gives you a toolbox! What do you do? Launching it into outer space is a bad idea. So is feeding it to a T. rex! Instead, be patient, pay attention, and you might find that you’re pretty handy. And just maybe, with grandpa’s help, you’ll get that dollhouse after all. This clever story celebrates kindness, hard work, and community, as well as variety in gender expression: the male main character proudly engages in activities that might be considered typically girl (playing with dolls) and typically boy (building with tools).

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Milton & Odie and the Bigger-than- Bigmouth Bass
Written & illustrated by Mary Ann Fraser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When faced with a challenge—or a super cold morning—Milton grumbles and Odie sees the bright side. Whiling away the hours at their respective fishing holes, neither Milton nor Odie get even the tiniest nibble . . . until Milton snags Odie’s pole. But does that mean fishing is over? On facing pages, Milton and Odie approach life with contrasting attitudes. Milton’s sure there isn’t a fish for miles, but Odie embraces the joy of anticipation, imagining that a bigmouth bass will be along any minute. Sweetly simple illustrations reveal the ups and downs of patience and expectation in this fish story about the one that didn’t get away.

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Bilal Cooks Daal
Written by Aisha Saeed & illustrated by Anoosha Syed
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Six-year-old Bilal introduces his friends to his favorite dish—daal!—in this charming picture book that showcases the value of patience, teamwork, community, and sharing. Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! The slow-cooked lentil dish from South Asia requires lots of ingredients and a whole lot of waiting. Bilal wants to introduce his friends to daal. They’ve never tried it! As the day goes on, the daal continues to simmer, and more kids join Bilal and his family, waiting to try the tasty dish. And as time passes, Bilal begins to wonder: Will his friends like it as much as he does? This debut picture book by Aisha Saeed, with charming illustrations by Anoosha Syed, uses food as a means of bringing a community together to share in each other’s family traditions.

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  • When Spring Comes - The award-winning, bestselling husband-and-wife team of Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek collaborate for the first time since their acclaimed picture book Birds. Before spring comes, the trees are dark sticks, the grass is brown, and the ground is covered in snow. But if you wait, leaves unfurl and flowers blossom, the grass turns green, and the mounds of snow shrink and shrink. Spring brings baby birds, sprouting seeds, rain and mud, and puddles. You can feel it and smell it and hear it—and you can read it! Kevin Henkes uses striking imagery, repetition, and alliteration to introduce basic concepts of language and the changing of the seasons. And Laura Dronzek’s gorgeous, lush paintings show the transformation from quiet, cold winter to the joyful newborn spring. Watch the world transform when spring comes!

  • Waiting for Snow - Badger cannot wait one more minute for it to snow. When his friend Hedgehog explains that everything comes in its time, Badger is as unconvinced and impatient as ever. But Badger’s friends have a few tricks up their sleeve to try to get the snow’s attention and distract their pal in the meantime. In the end, Badger sees there’s no trick—only waiting—until at last, it’s time.

  • What Are You Waiting For? - A badger finds his rabbit friend outside waiting for something and giving badger clues and guesses to figure out they are waiting to see the moon appear.

  • Patience, Miyuki - Miyuki wakes up early to say good morning to every flower in the garden, but there’s one sleepy flower that still hasn’t bloomed. Miyuki’s grandfather tells her that not every flower blooms at the same time, but she runs around, quickly, quickly, looking for water to wake the flower up. ‘Sometimes, Miyuki, sometimes it is not necessary to run, don’t you know? You must be patient, the journey is a bit long.’

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The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories
Written & illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In the second book of this lauded series, Fox and Chick are off on three new adventures involving a boat ride, a mysterious box, and an early morning trip to see the sunrise. Despite the antics ensuing from their opposite personalities, the contradictory duo always manages to find a happy center. This early chapter book in comic-book form is perfect for emerging readers, while the sweet and funny characters and captivating art hold appeal for picturebook audiences as well.

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Waiting Is Not Easy!
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In Waiting Is Not Easy!, Piggie has a surprise for Gerald, but he is going to have to wait for it. And Wait. And wait some more…

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Bear Has a Story to Tell
Written by Philip C. Stead & illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell… Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn’t have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

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How the Finch Got His Colors
Written by Annemarie Guertin & illustrated by Helena Perez Garcia
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Many years ago, before the world bloomed in magnificent colors, the Earth lay stark and gray. The animals that graced its skies and roamed its lands were the colors of dirt, clay, and stone . . . . . . until Rainbow descended to bestow her colors on the creatures of the world. Each bird asked for a bright and beautiful color: green for Parrot, red for Cardinal, and yellow for Canary. But will there be any colors left for little Gouldian Finch? He soon learns the power of patience and the beauty of all creatures. Based on a Belgian folktale, this beautifully told and illustrated tale is a timeless treasure for every collection.

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Katie Loves the Kittens
Written & illustrated by John Himmelman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The acclaimed author and illustrator of Chickens to the Rescue has created a sweet, funny, and entirely irresistible new character--a little dog just bursting with good intentions.

Katie is so excited when Sara Ann brings home three little kittens that she can't stop herself from howling AROOOOO! and trying to run after them. She loves them so much!

But Katie's enthusiasm frightens the kitties, and she's sad when they run away from her. Don't they know that she just wants to play?

Katie Loves the Kittens is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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  • The Magical Yet - A rollicking, rhyming, and inspirational picture book perfect for fans of

  • Pearl - Caldecott Honor author-illustrator Molly Idle dazzles with an original mermaid tale about how small, persistent actions can achieve great things.

  • Penny and Her Sled - Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes’s award-winning and bestselling mouse, Penny, stars in an irresistible story about anticipation, disappointment, and a brand-new sled. Told in five short chapters, Penny and Her Sled is perfect for reading alone, reading aloud, and sharing together. When Penny, a sweet and curious mouse, gets a new sled, she can’t wait to use it. But there’s one big problem–there’s no snow! Patiently, Penny waits and watches for the snow to appear. She puts on her scarf and hat. She sleeps with her mittens. Maybe if she’s ready, the snow will finally come. But day after day, the snow does not arrive. Finally, Penny decides she will use her sled for other things–it’s too wonderful not to! With a little imagination, the sled becomes a bridge for her glass animals to cross. It becomes a bed for her doll, Rose. It becomes a magic carpet that takes Penny and Rose on adventures all around the world. And as Penny waits for a snowfall that may never appear, she learns all about the power of patience, imagination, play . . . and spring! Told in five short chapters, and with an emphasis on family and patience, Penny and Her Sled is the perfect choice for emerging readers and for family sharing.—School Library Journal

  • What's the Matter, Aunty May? - When the Help becomes a hindrance, Aunty May is left clean out of patience. In this ultimate portrait of childhood optimism and cheer, the narrator proceeds from chore to chore leaving a trail of destruction behind him, oblivious to his Aunty’s horror.

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If You Want to See a Whale
Written by Julie Fogliano & illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

If you want to see a whale, you will need to know what not to look at.

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The Power of Yet
Written & illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
An inspiring young picture book about overcoming challenges and frustrations with the Power of Yet
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I'll Wait, Mr. Panda
Written & illustrated by Steve Antony
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Mr. Panda from Steve Antony’s bestselling, funny manners book Please, Mr. Panda is back! This time, Mr. Panda’s black-and-white animal friends are curious what he’s making, but only one has the patience to stick around. An alpaca, an aardvark, rabbits, and a bird all wind up missing out. It’s the penguin who declares, “I’ll wait, Mr. Panda.” The penguin is rewarded with a big SURPRISE: a giant doughnut! I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda is a graphic, kid-friendly way of teaching the value of patience and the importance of saying “thank you.”

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If You Hold a Seed
Written & illustrated by Elly MacKay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A young boy plants a seed that, with water, sunlight, care, and patience, grows into a strong, tall tree.

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Johnny's Pheasant
Written by & illustrated by Julie Flett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

An encounter with a pheasant (which may or may not be sleeping) takes a surprising turn in this sweetly serious and funny story of a Native American boy and his grandma

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  • Grow, Candace, Grow - In Grow, Candace, Grow, written by New York Times bestselling author and star of the hit Netflix series Fuller House Candace Cameron Bure, little Candace convinces her teacher that her class should plant a garden to celebrate spring. She’s so excited as the big day approaches, and soon Candace is dirty from head-to-toe planting flowers with her friends (and her hamster, Harry). When the work is complete, Candace is “underwhelmed” by the puny plantings and wants to know when the flowers are going to bloom. “It takes a little patience,” her teacher explains, but Candace is not particularly fond of waiting. As she comically attempts to speed up the growing process, the garden falters and Candace discovers patience really was the best plan after all. Following the success of Candace Center Stage, the second book in this bestselling series, written by Candace Cameron Bure and illustrated by Christine Battuz, includes an adorable cover adorned with embossing and glitter.

  • Jelly Bean Tree - Jelly Bean the giraffe loves her forest and her friends--even if she's too tall to play on the forest floor. She also loves napping with her head in the trees. But when Mama Bird decides Jelly Bean is the perfect place for her nest, the giraffe suddenly has a big responsibility as she waits for the baby birds to hatch. Can Jelly Bean be patient and still enough, day and night? Yes, with a little help from her friends.

  • May I Come In? - When thunder roars and lightning flashes, Raccoon is afraid to be alone in his home. So he hurries out to see if any of his neighbors in Thistle Hollow have room to spare for a friend in need. When Raccoon knocks on the doors of Possum, Quail, and Woodchuck, he is turned away. But then Raccoon spies a bright light in the storm. Will this next neighbor open up her house and heart to Raccoon? A tender story that reminds readers of all ages that a kind heart will always make room for one more.

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