More Books that teach morals

Thanks to everyone who posted book recommendations on my recent post about children's books that teach social/moral lessons.

As I mentioned before, the selection of children's books that teach lessons is actually rather shabby. I'd love to see more books that go beyond silliness and provide instruction on topics such as sharing, saying "please" and "thank you," helping others, working hard, and considering the feelings of strangers and friends.

That said, you all had some fabulous ideas and I wanted to share a few here:

horton hatches the egg random houseHorton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 1940) - A lazy bird named Mayzie is tired of sitting on her egg and asks Horton the Elephant to take her place. She runs away to enjoy herself, while Horton sits on the egg - through rain and sleet and even threats of death. In the end, his perseverance and stick-to-it-ness pays off. The bird hatches...and it's an elephant bird! This tall tale is an excellent reminder to children to stand by their word, to work hard, and to always give one hundred percent. Kids are sure to enjoy the larger-than-life animated illustrations and the rollicking, rhythmic text that slips off of the reader's tongue with ease.

the littlest dinosaur by michael foremanThe Littlest Dinosaur by Michael Foreman (Walker Books for Young Readers, 2008) - A new dinosaur is born and he's cuter than ever, but he's also very small. He feels lonely and different and not very useful at all. But then, one day, he saves his whole family, proving to himself and to others that even the smallest of dinosaurs can do very BIG things.

YOUR TURN: What other books have you read that teach wonderful social/moral lessons? Keep your recommendations comin'!

WIN IT! One winner will receive both of the books mentioned above - Horton Hatches the Egg ($15.99) and The Littlest Dinosaur ($16.95). To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Tuesday, June 30 at midnight (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).

*UPDATE* The winner is #42 Mary @ Parenthood. Congratulations!

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109 comments on “More Books that teach morals”

  1. Hey everyone....visit my new page and look for a wide variety of books teaching important morals to be released over the next year. They are geared for toddlers, and the first one will be out in September, its title is Stealing is Bad, but Giving is Good

  2. I know this is an older post but I wanted to add the book Ish by Peter Reynolds - I'm not sure if it's a "moral" exactly, teaches that you don't have to be perfect, you can just be you-ish! The character never thought his paintings really looked like the vase he was trying to draw but the younger sibling said, "well, they look vase-ISH" and so he kept drawing with confidence! A sweet book and I think it's important to teach kids not to get discouraged if what they do/make isn't perfect!

  3. Hi, Stephanie
    If you're looking for children's books that are character-building, I invite you to check out my website I also have an ongoing essay contest for kids there. Your daughters are beautiful!

  4. "If You Had to Choose, What Would You Do?" by Sandra McLeod Humphrey is a wonderful book for older kids. It really opens up discussions with my niece and nephews.

  5. I have always loved "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. It teaches what unconditional love means. In a way, it's kind of a sad book so maybe it's not the best recommendation.

  6. There is a Christmas book about "Johnathan Toomey" that had a really nice moral to the story. I can't recall the title perfectly.

  7. Our family has been heavily influenced by Dr. Seuss as long as I can remember. I hope to pass on to my future kids, eventually! Thanks for the great contest!

  8. My kids always loved the Dr Seuss books and now I'm reading them to my granddaughter. We were reading The Sneetches And Other Stories last night at bedtime.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. I am really happy that my kids are taking after my love of reading. The only bad thing about it, it's hard to keep my 7 year old in books. lol

  10. I have never heard of any of these books how are you guys finding them? Seuss is obvious but I live in a small town where finding even the newest books is hard

  11. I had another recommendation. What about fables? We recently borrowed "The little red hen: an old fable" / retold by Heather Forest ; illustrated by Susan Gaber. It teaches the lessons of hard work cooperation and friendship.
    Something in me rebels when you get to the end of a story and the lesson is awkwardly summarized, "Now, kids, you see that to have a friend you have to be a friend" or whatever.
    I much prefer a good story that also teaches a moral truth.

  12. My son loves to be read to and is starting to read himself. He loves Dr. Seuss books and does not have either book being offered. These would be a nice addition to our collection!

  13. Horton Hears a Who was one of my favorite books as a child. I've never read the Littlest Dinosaur or Horton Hatches an Egg, but I'd love to win these books to pass on the love and tradition of reading to my kids.

  14. My son is just now getting big enought to read books to and I think he would just love this set!

  15. Our family has a set of Dr. Seuss books that we are passing through our family. My daughter's favorite book was Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr.

  16. I loved "Rainbow Fish" that taught about sharing with others that don't have as much as you. Love that book!

  17. We like The Giving Tree. My son also enjoys it when my husband reads to him from the Narnia collection -- another moral tale collection! Thanks for the chance.

  18. Dr. Seuss' "The Sneetches and Other Stories" is filled with several silly sounding stories that teach lessons about equality, kindness, compromise (the good kind), and more. My girls love it.

  19. Actually it may not be a really obvious choice but Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day is a great one in our home. Some days my kids think that they are the only ones who have bad days and when I read that book to them, they always laugh and feel better.

  20. I love Dr. Suess. I read them to my children and now I read them to my grandchildren. They have all enjoyed them and I imagine my great grandchildren will love them. They hold up well with age.

  21. I remember reading Dr. Suess books when I was little, my children learned how to read by reading Dr. Suess books and I now read Dr. Suess books to my grandchildren.

  22. Can you imagine the imagination and daring that goes into writing a Dr. Suess book? The authors really have to have a passion for writing, and the end product really shows that. I haven't read either of these books, but I have read, and watched, "Horton Hears a Who."

  23. Dr. Suess is an american icon. Our whole family enjoys the books. This would be great to add to the collection. Thanks

  24. Horton is a favorite in our house.

    Another good "lesson" book is
    The Boat Contest by Aesop, Shari Lewis (A Lamb Chop book)

  25. I love the Serendipity books written by Stephen Cosgrove and beautifully illustrated by Robin James. They have been reissued through Penguin. One of my favorites is Leo the Lop, which addresses differences in physical appearance.

  26. Shortly after the first reading of Green Eggs and Ham, I fixed green eggs and ham for my granddaughters breakfast. Of course it was delicious, though it looked awful. Ten years later, when she is hesitant to try something new, I have only to mention Green Eggs and Ham, and it is as if she mentally resets her mind and attitude.

  27. we love dr suess, we need a good book to read.

    ohh love the new pics of the family you got up. i just noticed!!! so cute.

  28. My grandson is a little young to understand the story line of any book yet, but he is old enough to enjoy the bright pictures and the sound of a voice reading to him. Dr. Seuss has always been a favorite of mine, and these two would be definitely nice additions to the small library we are starting to collect for reading to him.

  29. As a veteran teacher, I've enjoyed Dr. Seuss books with kindergarten children for many years, as well as with my daughter and now my grandson! He is a dinosaur lover (what little boy isn't!) and would really enjoy these books. Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. Both my son and daughter love to read and be read to. Either of these books are a great choice. Dr. Seuss books are a favorite in this house.

  31. We have an awesome (if a bit dated) book called the "Do-Be Book of Manners". Sadly it's falling apart. Subtle it is not.

    "Stories Jesus Told" by Nick Butterworth and Mick InkPen. We have a number of children's Bible retellings that are quite good actually (for a variety of ages). The Bible Stories Alive series by Mrs. G are also excellent.

    Anything by Patricia St. John. The Jungle Doctor books.

    I also like "The fallacy detective", although it is a slightly different type of book than Dr Seuss & Berenstein Bears... (

  32. I think it's important for children to read books that teach a lesson.These two books are great examples and it's amazing how long the Dr. Seuss books have been around.

  33. I have a new grandnephew, 2 months old. For the baby shower everyone brought books instead of cards to start his library. These two books would make a great addition.

  34. I look most forward too reading with Olivia each night. She always picks 5 books and we just laugh and read. We don't have the two books above but they would make lovely additions for our bedtime reading ritual! Thanks for this great giveaway!

  35. Children's literature is the greatest gift we can give to the little ones. Quality fiction such as the one mentioned above instill important values that become part of our being forever.

  36. My favorite Dr. Suess book has always been "Are You My Mother?" And moral-teaching can never start too young - always a lover of Aesop's Fables!

  37. I think someone mentioned this before, but we like the Franklin books.
    We also have "Five Minute Devotions for Children" that I found at Target. It has a devotion about an animal and a related character trait and a Bible verse (working together-ants; friendship-dolphins; sharing-birds).

  38. This is such a great book. I love Horton. we all saw Horton hears a who and loved it so this would be great to read.

  39. I'm expecting my first grandchild in January & am collecting a library of great books to read together!

  40. I love, love, love Horton Hatches The Egg. I haven't heard of the little sounds great! My kids always say that they love, feel, do or like everything 100%, from Horton Hatches The Egg.

  41. I love books! One of the things I am most excited about in the new girls room is the bookshelf and the lamp behind the oversized chair so I can curl up with my lovies and read to them at night. I can't wait!

    I'd love these books for the collection

  42. We recently just read a cute book called "Digby Takes Charges", and it is about a sheepdog who tries to corral his flock into their pen. However, they won't budge...until he uses the magic word.

  43. I try to remind my children quite often that one of the most important things in life is to be a good human being. A job that one loves; hopefully, and many other things that we need are also important; but I feel that nothing is more valuable than being a kind and loving person. The books are delightful.
    I would appreciate being entered in your always
    wonderful drawing. Thanks, Cindi

  44. I love books!!! They are the best and are great at teaching lessons. When I use to teach 2nd grade I had a book, "Be Good to Eddie Lee" it is a great book to teach kids about other kiddos with disabilities. It shows that they might be different, but they offer a lot and will teach us if we let them. One of my favs! I would love new books for my library!

  45. I *love* Horton Hatches the Egg... but we have it in a compilation book, so we're missing a lot of the illustrations.

    The dinosaur book looks right up my alley, too... and actually, sounds surprisingly similar to a book I toyed around with writing/illustrating/publishing several years ago: A dragon who wanted to be small instead of big, and found out that being small wasn't everything she hoped it would be. In the end, her size saved her whole family of dragons from a group of attacking knights. I wasn't in the groove for the illustrating part of my idea, though, and so I never worked on it any more.

  46. I do home daycare and I learned that some parents just don't teach morals to their children. I think that is a huge problem is society today. I would love to have these for my daycare kiddos.

  47. Wow! I have so many books that I love for teaching morals...but my favorite would have to be The Giving Tree.

  48. Margaret
    By Jeremy Dubow
    This one is cute and helps kids notice the good all around them. One of my little girls fav's.

  49. We don't have either of those, and Dr. Seuss is one of my personal favorites! It's always great to find good children's books that teach a lesson.

  50. my both girls love Dr. Seuss books. They learned reading using his books. They would be really happy to have them in their collection.

  51. For Christmas, my children's great grandparents wanted to give them each a book that was extra special and taught some sort of important lessons. We chose "The Children's Treasury of Virtues" by William J. Bennett, and we have enjoyed it so much. It is beautifully illustrated, and is packed full of fun short stories of all kinds that teach different "virtues" or moral lessons - from fairy tales, legends, and fables, to historical stories (like George Washington & the Cherry tree) and poems, this book has some of everything. I highly recommend it.

  52. I always give the Rainbow Fish bath book as a present when little ones are born. One of my friends read it to her daughter every night when they were taking a bath for the first year of her daughter's life. It always made me happy to think that a gift I gave them was so useful!

  53. My nieces and nephews are constantly asking me or my parents or someone to read them stories. These look like ones that they will continuously want to ask us to read. I think I'd love to read these to them.

  54. I remember reading the Lorax when I was little... hope to read that to my little one someday. Good lessons about caring for the environment.

  55. We love Dr Seuss and dinosaurs are the best! we used to have a set of books called Dopey the dinosaur and he always got into all kinds of trouble and situations where there always was a moral and solution!

  56. I really like Mo Willems' books for moral fables veiled with humor.

    Leonardo the Terrible Monster is great for teaching kids to be compassionate to others:

    Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct teaches kids that sometimes it's okay to go with the flow, even if all rational thought says otherwise:

  57. A couple my kids like are "im thankful each day" by PK hallinan and "i like myself" bye karen beaumont. I have to enter this one as my daughter absolutely love dr. seuss and loves Horton!

  58. A lot of Dr. Seuss books are insightful. Though it may not be apparent on the surface the underlying meaning is there. I find that even little ones can grasp them and he makes it come alive by his writing and illustrations. My personal favorite is The Lorax.

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