Poor Behavior: Books For Kids

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

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

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

When it comes to children’s stories about poor behavior, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like What Were You Thinking? to popular sellers like The Bad Seed.

We hope this list of kids books about poor behavior 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.

Little Dinos Don't Bite book
#1
Little Dinos Don't Bite
Written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Adam Michael Record
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Little Dino has lots of sharp teeth and starts using them to bite objects and other dinosaurs. He must learn to use them in the right way. Part of the Hello Genius series of books, this sturdy board book reinforces positive behavior, teaches good manners, and visually shows that objects and people should not be bitten.

People Don't Bite People book
#2
People Don't Bite People
Written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

While biting people may be a really niche behavioral problem, whether or not you have a biter, you’re sure to enjoy the clever rhymes and awesome illustrations (I love Molly Idle’s illustrations always, and this is no exception!)

It’s good to bite a carrot. It’s good to bite a steak. It’s bad to bite your sister! She’s not a piece of cake.

Cause… People don’t bite people! That’s what this book’s about. So if you find you’re tooth-inclined— you’d better check it out!

Teeth Are Not for Biting book
#3
Teeth Are Not for Biting
Written by Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This book is slightly moralizing and direct in its instructions but the message “don’t bite!” is definitely very clear and present throughout and it gives specific alternatives children can try based on the different triggers they may be experiencing for biting.

“Crunch crunch crunch. Teeth are strong and sharp. Crunch crunch crunch. Teeth can help you chew. But teeth are not for biting. Ouch! Biting hurts.” Sooner or later, almost all young children will bite someone—a friend, a parent, a sibling. This upbeat, colorful, virtually indestructible book helps prevent biting and teaches positive alternatives.

The companion to our best-selling Hands Are Not for Hitting Board Book, Teeth Are Not for Biting gives reasons why children might want to bite. Little mouths feel sore when new teeth come in; sometimes kids bite when they’re hungry, tired, cranky, frustrated, angry, bored, distressed, or seeking attention. Author Elizabeth Verdick suggests positive things children can do instead of biting: chew a chewy toy, drink a cold drink, get a hug, tell a grown-up. This book also includes helpful tips for parents and caregivers.

The Bad Seed book
#4
The Bad Seed
Written by Jory John and illustrated by Pete Oswald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Goodnight Already! series This is a book about a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaad seed. How bad? Do you really want to know? He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. He’s been bad since he can remember! This seed cuts in line every time, stares at everybody and never listens. But what happens when one mischievous little seed changes his mind about himself, and decides that he wants to be—happy? With Jory John’s charming and endearing text and bold expressive illustrations by Pete Oswald, here is The Bad Seed: a funny yet touching tale that reminds us of the remarkably transformative power of will, acceptance, and just being you. Perfect for readers young and old, The Bad Seed proves that positive change is possible for each and every one of us.

No Biting! book
#5
No Biting!
Written and illustrated by Karen Katz
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Can you bite your mom? No! What can you bite? An apple! Karen Katz’s books are a must-have for every new mom and dad because they focus on how toddlers grow up and become more social.

  1. Doodle Bites - The inspired Polly Dunbar wraps up her series about Tilly and Friends with two beguiling new adventures. When Doodle the alligator is feeling bitey, the backside of Tumpty the elephant looks very tempting. But now Tumpty is sore — in more ways than one — and promptly stamps on Doodle’s tail. No wonder everyone’s upset! Luckily, the friends agree to apologize, and all is well — at least until Doodle starts to feel bitey again. . . .

  2. What Were You Thinking? - Strengthen executive function skills and empower impetuous young people with a humorous story about an impulsive third-grader. Teach students a strategy of four simple steps for stopping, thinking, and decision-making. Third-grader Braden loves to be the center of attention. His comic genius, as he sees it, causes his friends to look at him in awe. But some poor decision-making, like ill-timed jokes in class and an impulsive reaction during gym that left a classmate teary-eyed and crumpled on the floor, forces the adults in Braden’s life to teach him about impulse control. But will the lessons shared by his teachers and his mom really help Braden manage his impulses? Find out in this hilarious story by Bryan Smith.

  3. Bootsie Barker Bites - Seeing bully Bootsie Barker get her comuppance is guaranteed to make young readers smile. It’s the worst when Bootsie Barker comes to my house. Bootsie’s the one who pulls my hair and tears my books. She hates Charlene, my pet salamander. She says that I’m a turtle and she’s a turtle-eating dinosaur. Uh-oh, I think I hear a car pulling up. That’s her now! Eeek!

  4. Here Comes Destructosaurus! - Watch the unstoppable destructive force of a raging temper tantrum! Tremble at the enormous mess and disrespectful roaring! Despair as no amount of scolding can stem the heedless fury! Someone is heading for a time-out, Mister! Anyone who has witnessed (or been) a toddler in the throes of a full-blown fit will delight in this clever book’s moviemonster rampage, and may just come away from it with a bit more sympathy for toddler and caregiver.

The Knight Who Said No! book
#10
The Knight Who Said No!
Written by Lucy Rowland and illustrated by Kate Hindley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Ned the knight always does exactly what he’s told. When his parents ask him to pick up his toys, dig up the cabbages, or go to bed on time, he does it all with a smile. And when the dragon swoops into town every night, Ned always runs inside just as he’s asked. But one morning Ned says “NO!” He will not help his dad find his shield, his arrow, or his bow, and that night, he refuses to go inside. After a surprising encounter with the dragon, will he change his tune?

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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