Best Kids Books About Perseverance

34 Kids Books About Perseverance

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Max and Marla book
#1
Max and Marla
Written and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Two fearless Olympians sled to victory in this delightful new picture book Max and Marla are best friends. And aspiring Olympians! With their eyes on the prize, they know exactly what it’ll take to reach sledding success: preparation, practice and perseverance. So when rusty blades, strong winds and difficult slopes get in their way, Max and Marla realize true joy lies not in winning but in friendship. Obstacles turn into victories! With delightful illustrations and charming text, Alexandra Boiger brings to life the story of two unstoppable pals—true Olympians who never give up!

Frank Pearl in the Awful Waffle Kerfuffle book
#2
Frank Pearl in the Awful Waffle Kerfuffle
Written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Erwin Madrid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Frank Pearl is chasing a prize in this Judy Moody® story for newly independent readers. Just once, Frank Pearl would like to win at something! He is going to win a prize if it’s the last thing he does. Could an amazing yo-yo trick or Cookie the parrot land him a prize? Could a blue ribbon be his at the Great Third-Grade Breakfast Bash? With three shots at a prize and Judy Moody cheering him on (sort of?), there’s no way that Frank can miss out on a trophy this time.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider book
#3
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Written and illustrated by Iza Trapani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this expanded version of a popular song, the itsy-bitsy spider's climbing is interrupted by a fan, a mouse, a cat, and some dew before she makes her way to the top of a tree to spin her web.

The Very Clumsy Click Beetle book
#4
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.

How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? book
#5
How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow?
Written and illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Every year, giant pumpkin contests take place at fairs across the country—the 2012 record-holder weighed over a ton! The latest craze is to carve the most enormous pumpkins into racing boats. But what’s next? Why not think really big? Award-winning artist Wendell Minor does just that as he imagines larger-than-life pumpkins decorating some of America’s favorite places—as immense as the Capitol dome, Mount Rushmore, the Brooklyn Bridge, even the Grand Canyon! This celebration of famous landmarks and landscapes plays with concepts of size and scale and is full of fun facts.

You Can! Words of Wisdom From The Little Engine That Could book
#6
You Can! Words of Wisdom From The Little Engine That Could
Written and illustrated by Jill Howarth, Charlie Hart, Watty Piper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The classic character that has inspired generations of children to believe in themselves will now inspire readers of every age in this book filled with encouraging words of wisdom. Everybody needs a little downtime for maintenance. There will always be obstacles you don't anticipate. Wake up ready for an adventure. The Little Engine That Could is one of the most popular and enduring children's stories of all time, and for more than eighty-five years, this classic character has encouraged readers to try their hardest to achieve their dreams. This story of determination and inspiration has now been reimagined in a charming, illustrated gift book that will speak to readers no matter what the age and no matter what the challenge. This is the perfect gift for graduation, and for everyone who may need to be reminded, "You Can!"

Tomo Takes Flight book
#7
Tomo Takes Flight
Written and illustrated by Trevor Lai
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Best friends Tomo and Maya discover a drawing of a magnificent Flying Machine in their adventure journal. With engineering know-how and determination, Tomo decides to build it himself and explore the skies! But no matter how many times he tries, the machine just won’t work…until they spot a rare bird whose nest has fallen. By studying the bird’s wings, Tomo and Maya know just what they need to take flight! Once aloft, Tomo is able to help the bird find a new perch for its nest. In this sequel to Tomo Explores the World, the friends learn that sometimes it takes a perseverance and observation to truly soar. Perfect for young makers and animal lovers, Tomo Takes Flight is a fun and inspiring story that emphasizes creativity and imagination to achieve your goals.

Pocket Bios: Muhammad Ali book
#8
Pocket Bios: Muhammad Ali
Written and illustrated by Al Berenger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A colorfully illustrated, pocket-size picture book biography of the famous professional boxer and activist Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali remains one of the most inspiring and celebrated sports figures today. A gold-medal Olympian and multi-title winning boxer, Ali was an important civil rights activist. From his childhood growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, to his amateur boxing training beginning at the age of 12, to his achievements within the professional boxing ring and beyond as a conscientious objector, follow this extraordinary man's life and accomplishments. Pocket Bios are full of personality, introducing readers to fascinating figures from history with simple storytelling and cheerful illustrations. Titles include men and women from history, exploration, the sciences, the arts, the ancient world, and more.

A Day with Parkinson's book
#9
A Day with Parkinson's
Written by A. Hultquist and illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Ever since Grandpa got Parkinson's, Noah has noticed he hasn't been the same. He doesn't have as much energy as he used to, and sometimes when he's excited or happy, he can't smile. Noah worries that Parkinson's is his fault, but Grandpa assures him it's not—and it won't stop him from having fun at the beach!

Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me book
#10
Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me
Written by David Gutnick and illustrated by Mathilde Cinq-Mars
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Not long after arriving in North America from China, a young girl and her father bump into a kind old man at their local park. They have no idea that he has been teaching young people music for over fifty years. Mr. Mergler can hear music in a way that most of us can’t, and he knows this little girl has a talent that, with encouragement, will grow into something magical. He gives her a gift that will tie them together forever

Sweet Dreams, Supergirl book
#11
Sweet Dreams, Supergirl
Written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Omar Lozano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

A young Supergirl fan faces her most elusive adversary - sleep! As darkness falls, a young girl attempts to catch some Z's while DC Comics' SUPERGIRL tracks down an elusive enemy. With super hero traits, like BRAVERY, PATIENCE, and PERSISTENCE, they'll both turn sleepless nights into sweet success and sweet dreams. Along with Omar Lozano's action-packed art, bestselling author Michael Dahl (Bedtime for Batman, Good Morning, Superman, and Be a Star, Wonder Woman) delivers an imaginative bedtime book for fangirls and fanboys alike.

Mission Super Halloween book
#12
Mission Super Halloween
Written by Marsha Qualey and illustrated by Jessica Gibson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Beatrice "Bumble B." Flinn has announced her Halloween costume, and it's perfect for her. She is going to be a Super Bee! But when her cape causes issues, B. feels less than super. She is on a mission to find her superpower, with or without her pesky cape! The Bumble B. early chapter book series will inspire young readers to never give up. Easy-to-read text, short chapters, fun illustrations, a glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts complete the book. The Capstone Interactive edition comes with simultaneous access for every student in your school and includes read aloud audio recorded by professional voice over artists.

Pedro the Ninja book
#13
Pedro the Ninja
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

After watching a ninja cartoon, Pedro dreams of being a ninja himself. Luckily, his dad gets him karate lessons. With hard work and a little practice, maybe Pedro can become ninja star, just like the ones he sees in the movies! A glossary and reading questions make this title a black-belt level book.

Up & Down book
#14
Up & Down
Written and illustrated by Don Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Swept up by the European ballooning craze of the 1780s, Dr. John Jeffries longed to become the first person to fly across the English Channel. But first he had to outwit a rascally co-pilot, keep the balloon from bursting, and avoid crashing into the sea. The good doctor’s quick-thinking solutions will surprise young readers—and keep them giggling when “lightening the load” is a relief in more ways than one. Don Brown tells this quirky true story with his usual accuracy and heart.

The Dreamer book
#15
The Dreamer
Written and illustrated by Il Sung Na
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Once, there was a pig who admired birds. But he could never join them. Or could he? Thus begins the journey of a pig with big dreams, and the perseverance to make them come true. He develops flight plans, builds experimental contraptions, and has far-flung adventures, but at the end of the day, his favorite thing to do is still to sit and watch for those he loves best: the birds. Il Sung Na creates a world at once whimsical and aspirational, where anything is possible and, yes, even pigs can learn to fly.

The North Wind and the Sun book
#16
The North Wind and the Sun
Written by Marilyn Helmer and illustrated by Sue Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-8

When the North Wind brags about his strength, the Sun challenges him to a contest. Who will win?

Swift Wings book
#17
Swift Wings
Written by Joanne LeBlanc-Haley and illustrated by Sue Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-9

Although he was a great solo flyer, Jake could not fly with the other swifts. Every time he tried, he bumped into one bird, knocked another into a spin, and soon destroyed the perfect formation. "Oh, no!" Jake heard behind him. "Jake's here! We'll never get it right if he's with us." Jake felt his confidence slipping away.

Stinker book
#18
Stinker
Written by David Zeltser and illustrated by Julia Patton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Stinker is a puppy stuck in the pound. He's playful and loving and wants more than anything to be adopted. Unfortunately, little Stinker is always making big smells. As family after family return the ever-patient pooch back to the shelter, even he begins to lose hope. That is, until Stinker meets a snarky tomcat who can wriggle his way out of any situation. Together they stage a great escape in order to find just the right home, where Stinker will be loved in spite of his smells.

Irving Berlin book
#19
Irving Berlin
Written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by James Rey Sanchez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Irving Berlin came to the United States as a refugee from Tsarist Russia, escaping a pogrom that destroyed his village. Growing up on the streets of the lower East Side, the rhythms of jazz and blues inspired his own song-writing career. Starting with his first big hit, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Berlin created the soundtrack for American life with his catchy tunes and irresistible lyrics. With "God Bless America," he sang his thanks to the country which had given him a home and a chance to express his creative vision.

Charlie Takes His Shot book
#20
Charlie Takes His Shot
Written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by John Joven
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Charlie Sifford loved golf, but in the 1930’s only white people were allowed to play in the Professional Golf Association. Sifford had won plenty of black tournaments, but he was determined to break the color barrier in the PGA. In 1960 he did, only to face discrimination from hotels that wouldn’t rent him rooms and clubs that wouldn’t let him use the same locker as the white players. But Sifford kept playing, becoming the first black golfer to win a PGA tournament and eventually ranking among the greats in golf.

A Chip Off the Old Block book
#21
A Chip Off the Old Block
Written by Jody Jensen Shaffer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A plucky pebble shows true grit as he travels the country trying to find out if he fits in with any of his famous rock-formation relatives. Rocky comes from a long line of rock stars! Uncle Gibraltar, Aunt Etna, and Great-Grandma Half Dome are just some of the legendary rock formations he calls family. It's no wonder he wants to matter in a big way too--but it's not easy trying to get a foothold. Rocky gets tossed by The Wave and driven away at Devil's Tower--but he's determined not to allow these pitfalls to chip away at his confidence. Rather than feeling crushed, he keeps on rolling, hoping to become the rock-star he knows he's meant to be.

Cindy Moo book
#22
Cindy Moo
Written by Lori Mortensen and illustrated by Jeff Mack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One night on the farm, the cows overhear a fantastic tale. “Hey Diddle Diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon!” Inspired by this classic rhyme, a plucky cow named Cindy Moo sets out to prove that cows really can leap over the moon. The other cows laugh at her, but that doesn’t stop Cindy from trying—and failing—night after night . . . until a trick of nature shows Cindy a way to triumph. As delightfully silly as the original nursery rhyme, this hilarious picture book will have readers of all stripes (and spots) cheering for its determined heroine.

Cowpoke Clyde Rides the Range book
#23
Cowpoke Clyde Rides the Range
Written by Lori Mortensen and illustrated by Michael Allen Austin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cowpoke Clyde is plumb confused. An ad in his favorite catalog says he oughta buy a bike. But why should he do that? After all, he’s got a horse. Still, a bike wouldn’t buck or bite, and he wouldn’t have to feed it. He orders one, and when it comes, he mounts up and sets right off, wibble-wobblin’ down the road. Good thing he’s got his trusty friend Dawg to look out for him. Turns out learning to ride a bike is just a tad bit harder than he thought! With its rip-roaring rhyming text and turn-the-page revelations, this book is pure read-aloud fun.

Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing book
#24
Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing
Written by Kay Haring and illustrated by Robert Neubecker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Iconic pop artist Keith Haring comes to life for young readers in this picture book biography lovingly written by his sister This one-of-a-kind book explores the life and art of Keith Haring from his childhood through his meteoric rise to fame. It sheds light on this important artist’s great humanity, his concern for children, and his disregard for the establishment art world. Reproductions of Keith's signature artwork appear in scenes boldly rendered by Robert Neubecker. This is a story to inspire, and a book for Keith Haring fans of all ages to treasure.

Gandhi book
#25
Gandhi
Written by Alice B. McGinty and illustrated by Thomas Gonzales
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Mohandas Gandhi’s 24-day March to the Sea, from March 12 to April 5, 1930, was a pivotal moment in India’s quest to become an independent country no longer ruled by Great Britain. With over 70 marchers, Gandhi walked from his hometown near Ahmedabab to the sea coast by the village of Dandi. The march was a non-violent means to protest the taxes that Great Britain had imposed on salt -- not the salt that the Indians could get from the sea, but the salt that Great Britain forced them to buy. Gandhi believed that peaceful protests were an effective way to challenge British law, and his peaceful but ultimately successful movement became known as Satyagraha.

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