No parent wants to see their child struggle with disappointment and challenges but it’s important that they learn how to deal with the frustrations and failures that life may throw their way.
Like many other life skills, resilience is something that can be learned and books are a great way of introducing concepts like patience, versatility and perseverance to young children.
Here are a few of our favourite reads featuring characters overcoming obstacles and bouncing back after defeat.
Rosie Revere dreamed of becoming a great engineer. Alone in her room at night, she constructs great inventions from odds and ends but afraid of failure, she hides them away under her bed. Until a visit from her great-great-aunt Rose, who shows her that the first flop isn’t something to fear—it’s something to celebrate. And you can only truly fail, if you quit.
This beloved New York Times bestselling picture book is about pursuing one’s passion with persistence and learning to celebrate each failure on the road to achieving one’s dreams.
An inspirational story of a boy who loved the stars so much, he decided to get one for himself. Every night he watched the stars in the sky from his bedroom window and dreamed of how he could be their friend and how they could play hide-and-go-seek together. So, one day, he decided to set about catching a star for himself. But how? Oliver Jeffers offers a simple, childlike tale of reaching for the stars, and emerging with a friend.
Lou and her friends are BRAVE adventurers. They run FASTER than airplanes. They build MIGHTY fortresses. They rescue WILD animals.” But one day, when they’re looking for a ship to play pirates in, Lou’s friend has an idea: “Up there! The tree can be our ship!” “Ummm …” says Lou. This is something new. Lou has never climbed a tree before, and she’s sure she can’t do it.
This delightful, sensitive picture book depicts what children go through when confronted with something difficult. We see Lou procrastinating, making excuses, imagining alternatives and denying she cares. Ultimately, she faces her fear, and although she fails, the effort empowers her, encouraging a growth mindset.
A long time ago in China there was a boy named Ping who loved flowers. Anything he planted burst into bloom. The Emperor loved flowers too. When it was time to choose an heir, he gave a flower seed to each child in the kingdom. “Whoever can show me their best in a year’s time,” he proclaimed, “shall succeed me to the throne!”
Ping plants his seed and tends it every day. But month after month passes, and nothing grows. When spring comes, Ping must go to the Emperor with nothing but an empty pot.
Exquisite art and beautifully simple text show how Ping’s embarrassing failure is turned triumphant in this satisfying tale of honesty rewarded.
Meet Emmi! She is resilient, independent and courageous. She always tries her best, and even when the going gets tough, Emmi never gives in. This charming story uses verse and beautiful illustrations to model resilience, persistence, and the ability to face challenges with tenacity.
Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid.
Pete the Cat goes walking down the street wearing his brand new white shoes. Along the way, his shoes change from white to red to blue to brown to WET as we steps in piles of strawberries, blueberries and other big messes But no matter what color his shoes are are, Pete keeps movin′ and groovin′ and singing his song…because it′s all good.
Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it… somehow.
In this interactive and engaging read-aloud, bestselling author and award-winning artist Patrick McDonnell creates a funny, engaging, and almost perfect story about embracing life’s messes. Little Louie’s story keeps getting messed up, and he’s not happy about it! What’s the point of telling his tale if he can’t tell it perfectly? But when he stops and takes a deep breath, he realises that everything is actually just fine, and his story is a good one – imperfections and all.
New things can be scary — but as one endearing little girl discovers, it’s perfectly fine to take your time.
Swimming lessons are on Saturdays, and every Saturday one little girl has a stomachache. When she gets to the pool it’s loud, the floor is wet and slippery, and her swim cap is too tight. Her swimming instructor, Mary, says it’s OK to sit by the edge if she doesn’t want to get in the water this week.
In a charming and relatable story about trying something new, author-illustrator Hyewon Yum shows that sometimes a little bravery and a lot of patience are all you need to face your fear.