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Self-perception: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about self-perception?

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

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter 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. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about self-perception, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Freckle Juice to popular sellers like Thank You, Mr. Falker.

We hope this list of kids books about self-perception 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.

Thank You, Mr. Falker
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The real-life, classic story of a dyslexic girl and the teacher who would not let her fail. A perfect gift for teachers and for reading students of any age.

Patricia Polacco is now one of America’s most loved children’s book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha’s dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability. Patricia Polacco will never forget him, and neither will we.

This inspiring story is available in a deluxe slipcased edition, complete with a personal letter to readers from Patricia Polacco herself. Thank You, Mr. Falker will make a beautiful gift for the special child who needs encouragement or any special teacher who has made a difference in the child’s life.

Ruby's Wish
Written by Shirin Yim Bridges & illustrated by Sophie Blackall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ruby is unlike most little girls in old China. Instead of aspiring to get married, Ruby is determined to attend university when she grows up, just like the boys in her family. Based upon the inspirational story of the author’s grandmother and accompanied by richly detailed illustrations, Ruby’s Wish is an engaging portrait of a young girl who’s full of ambition and the family who rewards her hard work and courage.

Why?
Written by Adam Rex & illustrated by Claire Keane
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This sweet book will appeal to anyone familiar with the universal tendency of young children to always ask WHY? When supervillain Doctor X-Ray swoops in threatening to vanquish an innocent crowd, the only one brave enough not to run away is a little girl, who asks him simply, “Why?” He is taken aback—but he answers. She keeps asking. And he keeps answering—until a surprising truth is uncovered, and the villain is thwarted. In this laugh-out-loud take on the small-and-determined-beats-big-loud-bully story, simple questions lead to profound answers in a quest that proves the ultimate power of curiosity.

Ellie, Engineer: In the Spotlight
Written by Jackson Pearce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ellie the Engineer is back in a third charming, hilarious, illustrated story filled with creative, STEM-powered fun! “Look out, Junie B. Jones! Ellie the engineer is thinking, making, creating, and showing enthusiasm and brilliance with her creations!” - School Library Connection on Ellie, Engineer Ellie enters a pageant with her best friend Kit, which means lots of glitter, hairspray, and chances to make new friends. After all, Ellie has lots of engineering ideas to help the other girls with their talents, like building a light-up skateboard ramp for Kit! But one contestant, Kit’s not-so-nice pageant rival Melody, makes fun of Ellie’s tool belt and thinks engineering is messy. And when Melody’s rabbit—part of her magic act—goes missing, Ellie knows that she can build a contraption to catch him. But Melody’s comments have made Ellie start to doubt herself—what if a pageant isn’t a place for engineering? With Ellie’s designs and sketches throughout, and her fun guide to electricity and circuits in the back, the continuation of this delightful series will leave young readers laughing and inspired to create.

On the Go!
Written & illustrated by Ailie Busby
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-2

Babies love lifting the flaps in these board books to find out all about themselves. Encouraging interaction and discussion, they are designed to support the Personal, Social and Emotional Development aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage. A modern remake of one of our bestselling series with vivid illustrations by Ailie Busby.

  • Bear Who Wasn't There - A magical, lyrical picture book debut from acclaimed composer and playwright Oren Lavie, illustrated by beloved German illustrator Wolf Erlbruch. One day, a few minutes after Once Upon a Time, a bear awakes to find he has lost something very important: himself! He sets out into the Fabulous Forest to find himself, using only a few clues scrawled on a piece of paper: the bear he’s looking for is a nice bear; he is a happy bear; and he’s very handsome too! These sound like pretty good qualities to Bear, and so begins his memorable journey. With the help of Fabulous Forest critters like the Convenience Cow, the Lazy Lizard, and the Penultimate Penguin, Bear finds that he himself is just what he’s been looking for all along: a nice, happy bear—and handsome too! As whimsical as Winnie-the-Pooh and as wryly comic as Klassen’s bear who wants his hat back, The Bear Who Wasn’t There joins a select crew of unusual bears who have captured the imagination of children for generations. Wolf Erlbruch is one of Germany’s most renowned illustrators; his work is respected and loved around the world. Among his many awards, Erlbruch received both the Gutenberg and the German Children’s Literature Award, as well as a Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award. His previous book, Duck, Death and the Tulip, sold more than 100,000 copies and was published in nineteen countries. Oren Lavie is a composer, musician, and playwright. His debut album, The Opposite Side of the Sea, was released worldwide to critical acclaim. The music video for “Her Morning Elegance” was nominated for a Grammy and became a YouTube hit with over twenty-five million views. Lavie’s song “A Dance ‘Round the Memory Tree” was featured in Disney’s film The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. He currently lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

  • A. Lincoln and Me - With the help of his teacher, a young boy realizes that he not only shares his birthday and similar physical appearance with Abraham Lincoln, but that he is like him in other ways as well.

  • The Meanest Doll in the World - Annabelle and Tiffany, dolls who are best friends living in the Palmer house, have an adventure when they hide in Kate Palmer’s backpack, are carried to school, mistakenly go to another house, and try to stop Princess Mimi, a doll who threatens all dollkind.

  • Anastasia's Chosen Career - In her seventh adventure, the irrepressible Anastasia decides that she needs more poise and confidence—especially since her chosen career is to be a bookstore owner. A flyer on her father’s windshield convinces her that charm school at Studio Charmante will teach her just that. But a week in modeling school may be just what Anastasia needs to realize that, just maybe, she already has what it takes.

Pretty
Written by Justin Sayre
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Pretty isn’t everything! Trapped by the limitations of her high-school adjective, the realities of her mother’s alcohol addiction, and a racially fraught America, Sophie’s perspective on what being pretty really means changes drastically in the second adjective-busting novel by the author of Husky, Justin Sayre. Set three months after Husky’sconclusion and narrated by Sophie, Davis’s best friend, Sayre details the private and public life of someone saddled with the adjective of pretty. Confident, stylish, and easygoing at school, Sophie is struggling in her home life. Stepping in to help as her mother’s addiction spirals out of control, Sophie’s aunt teaches the biracial Sophie new lessons about her heritage. While helping to heal the wounds inflicted by alcoholism, Sophie’s renewed sense of self challenges her perception of place in the affluent, “liberal” neighborhood of Park Slope where she lives.a Set against the backgrounds of Brooklyn and Harlem, Sayre challenges readers to confront superficial assumptions about race and beauty and breathes new life into the cannon of middle-grade realistic fiction.

Freckle Juice
Written by Judy Blume & illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

What’s a guy gotta do to get some freckles? This perennial bestselling favorite from Judy Blume has a fresh new look!

More than anything in the world, Andrew Marcus wants freckles. His classmate Nicky has freckles—they cover his face, his ears, and the whole back of his neck. But when Andrew asks Nicky where he got them, Nicky just says he was born with them. Some help he is!

That’s when Sharon offers Andrew her secret freckle juice recipe—for fifty cents, she promises, Andrew can look just like Nicky. His freckleless days are over! He rushes home to whip up the concoction. Grape juice, vinegar, mustard…

But what starts out as a simple freckle juice recipe quickly turns into something disastrous. Andrew is still determined to get his freckles, and to show that pesky Sharon that she doesn’t know everything—and he has the perfect solution! Or does he?

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