Children’s books often tackle delicate but important issues. Because of its intended audience, children’s literature is focused, understandable, and relatable. Problems and matters can be addressed in third person stories, and abstract concepts are shared in memorable stories. For these reasons, children’s books can prove especially helpful in teaching kids (and adults) helpful techniques for resolving conflicts, whether at home, at school, in the workplace, and more.
This list compiles the best books in children’s literature for showing and teaching conflict resolution. The types of stories vary. Some address conflict resolution directly, while others simply show characters resolving misunderstandings, mistakes, and other problems to again establish peace in relationships and environments.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for young readers ages zero to two. Picture books are great for kids early elementary school age, while chapter books are great for elementary school and early middle school age readers. You can filter the list by book type or browse the full list.
Let us know what titles you would add to the list!
Nerdy Birdy Tweets - Nerdy Birdy and his best friend, Vulture, are very different. Nerdy Birdy loves video games, but Vulture finds them BORING. Vulture loves snacking on dead things, but Nerdy Birdy finds that GROSS. Luckily, you don’t have to agree on everything to still be friends. One day, Nerdy Birdy joins Tweetster, and the friend requests start flying in. Vulture watches as Nerdy Birdy gets swept up in his new friendships, but when she finally gets angry, Nerdy Birdy knows just what to do to make things right.
Accident! - When a clumsy armadillo named Lola knocks over a glass pitcher, she sets off a silly chain of events, encountering chaos wherever she goes. But accidents happen—just ask the stoat snarled in spaghetti, the airborne sheep, and the bull who has broken a whole shop’s worth of china. In the tradition of beloved books like The Dot and Beautiful Oops, this charming, hilarious debut from author-illustrator Andrea Tsurumi shows that mistakes don’t have to be the end of the world.
The Teacher's Pet - On the day the tadpoles hatch, the whole class is amazed—they’ve never seen their teacher so excited. Mr. Stricter has always wanted a pet, so he tells the students they can keep just one. The class chooses Bruno, the smallest of the bunch. But Bruno doesn’t stay small for long. Soon he’s grown into a giant, classroom-wrecking creature: He eats desks, farts for show-and-tell, and sneezes slime all over everything! Everyone can see that Bruno is trouble. Everyone except Mr. Stricter. With their teacher blinded by love for the pet, the students must step up and take matters into their own heroic hands.
Want to see books about animals?
The Recess Queen - A fresh & original twist on the common issue of bullying. Kids will relate, & parents & teachers will appreciate the story’s deft handling of conflict resolution (which happens w/o adult intervention) Mean Jean was Recess Queen and nobody said any different. Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung. Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked. Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced. If kids ever crossed her, she’d push ‘em and smoosh ‘em lollapaloosh ‘em, hammer ‘em, slammer ‘em kitz and kajammer ‘em. Until a new kid came to school! With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.
The Major Eights 2: Scarlet's Big Break - In book 2 of the Major Eights series, Scarlet goes solo and risks alienating her bandmates. After their Battle of the Bands competition, the girls are famous! Everyone knows who they are now—even strangers recognize them! But the attention starts to go to Scarlet’s head, and she decides to sign up for the school’s talent show as a solo artist. But what about the Major Eights? Should she really leave the band and her friends behind? With each book told from a different girl’s perspective, this series is all about girl power, diversity, and marching to the beat of your own drum!
Flower Girl Dreams - Unable to comprehend a beloved librarian’s imminent marriage to a cafeteria worker who seems to be perpetually grouchy, Pearl becomes jealous when Echo, Shelly, and Kiki are all asked to be flower girls.
The Major Eights 5: The New Bandmate - In book 5 of the Major Eights series, Jasmine breaks her arm just when the Major Eights have a big show coming up. Can they find a way to save the show? Just before a big show, Jasmine breaks her arm. The Major Eights don’t want to let down their audience, so they ask Leslie to sub. But Jasmine is worried the band will like Leslie better. Is this the end of the Major Eights as they know it?
Bye Bye Pesky Fly - _Pig was having a feel-good kind of day. Pig was just hanging around, thinking about his favorite things. Sunshine, rainbows, and the feel of cool mud on a hot summer day. Then out of the blue came a Pesky Fly, That Pesky Fly buzzed around Pig’s nose. He buzzed around Pig’s ears._ Suddenly Pig’s peaceful, feel-good day wasn’t so peaceful anymore. Pig needs to figure out the best way to handle it, instead of yelling or swatting… that wouldn’t be kind! Fly needs to figure out how to better interact with his friends and respect Pig’s space, and decides Pig is a good friend to have! Pig and Fly work through their problem and move on to having a feel-good day…together! Includes a Note to Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals with more information on helping children deal with frustration and build positive relationships.
Emma Catwalks and Cupcakes - Emma loses a modeling assignment—to Katie!—in the latest addition to the Cupcake Diaries series. When Emma goes on an audition for a new modeling job, Katie tags along to keep her company. But as it turns out, everyone wants Katie to model instead of Emma! At first Emma is happy for her friend. Soon though, she realizes sharing the spotlight isn’t much fun, even if it is with your BFF! Will the Cupcake girls continue to bicker amongst themselves or will they finally realize there’s just one person you need to please—yourself?
Want to see books about feelings and emotions?
The 78-Story Treehouse - Andy and Terry live in a 78-story treehouse. (It used to be a 65-story treehouse, but they just keep building more levels!) It has a drive-thru car wash, a courtroom with a robot judge called Edward Gavelhead, a scribbletorium, a combining machine, an ALL-BALL sports stadium, a high-security potato chip storage facility, and an open-air movie theatre with a super-giant screen . . . which is a very useful thing to have now that Terry’s going to be a big-shot movie star! After Andy gets cut out of the movie, he and Terry have a big fight and decide they don’t want to be best friends anymore. But with a herd of sneaky spy cows out to steal all their story ideas, can Andy and Terry make up before it’s too late?
Heidi Heckelbeck Has a New Best Friend - Heidi has a new best friend in the twenty-second Heidi Heckelbeck adventure! A new family moves in next door and Heidi is excited to meet them. They have a daughter Heidi’s age! Her name is Bryce Beltran, and she’s Heidi’s super nice, super talkative new neighbor. After spending the day together, Heidi promises to introduce her to Lucy and Bruce. But on the first day of school, things don’t go as planned. Bryce is convinced that her so-called best friends aren’t very good ones and tries to get in between them. Can Heidi help everyone get along before she loses them all? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Heidi Heckelbeck chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.
Play with Me! - Playtime means very different things to these two spirited friends Pip is full of ideas for what to play: Dress up! Magicians! Dolls! Only, Nico doesn’t want to play any of them, and Pip gets mad. REALLY mad. But don’t worry—Nico finds the perfect way for them to play together. Michelle Lee’s irresistible characters show that finding a way to play together will always hit the right note.
The Three Little Pugs - Gordy, Jilly, and Zoie love to race, chase, and play pug-of-war. But most of all, they love snoozing in their big, cozy basket. Then one day just before their morning nap, the big bad cat decides to make himself at home in the pugs’ beloved basket! Will the pugs figure out how to keep him away before they get too sleepy?
Want to see books about imagination and play?
P.S. Send More Cookies - The girls from Flowerpot Cabin learn that there are two things they can count on in life—friendship and cookies—in Martha Freeman’s third novel in the Secret Cookie Club series, which was called “a younger version of Ann Brashares’s The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” by School Library Journal. It’s not all sugar and spice for the girls of Flowerpot Cabin after they leave summer camp. Grace learns she isn’t good at everything when she gets volunteered to dogsit, Emma’s mom has a hard time when her beloved grandmother dies, Olivia’s brother makes a big announcement that starts a family feud, and Lucy isn’t sure how she feels when her dad pops back into her life. Meanwhile, beloved counselor Hannah continues to deal with the fallout from a summer romance. But no matter what tough stuff comes their way, there are two things the members of the Secret Cookie Club can count on: friendship and cookies.
The Kiddie Table - On Thanksgiving Day, a girl who has just turned eight loudly insists that she be permitted to sit at the dining room table, rather than with the babies.
Want to see books about family?
Ralph S. Mouse - In this third and final Mouse novel from Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary, Ralph heads to school to see what humans do all day . . . and to discover what the “S” in Ralph S. Mouse stands for! With his rowdy cousins constantly wearing out his motorcycle and the Mountain View Inn manager threatening to take care of the mouse infestation once and for all, Ralph decides it’s time to get away for a while. He convinces his human friend Ryan to take him along to school, where Ralph instantly becomes the center of attention. But when Ryan’s class decides to see how smart Ralph is by making him run a maze, the usually confident mouse starts to fret. What if he’s not as clever as he thought?
His Royal Whiskers - After young would-be alchemists, Pieter and Teresa, accidentally turn Prince Alexander into a giant kitten, the three team up to take down the evil czar who is Alexander’s father.
Pirate Chicken: All Hens on Deck - Lily is no ordinary chicken. She dreams of a life off the farm, where she can put her grand plans into action. Her wish is granted when pirates recruit her and her fellow chickens and whisks them away to the open seas. Soon, Lily has taken charge and becomes captain of an allchicken crew as the feared chicken pirate Redfoot. But when Lily faces a mutiny, will she change her ways, or be forced to squawk the plank?
Want to see books about action and adventure?