8 Books To Teach Children About Confidence
“Books are an amazing way to build a child's confidence,” Theresa Bertuzzi, chief program development officer and co-founder of Tiny Hoppers, tells CircleAround. “When they read, they feel immersed in the story and one with the characters.”
“If the character they are reading about is someone relatable to them and shows growth and confidence-building throughout the story, they will naturally extrapolate that experience to their own,” she adds. Her recommended picks include The Boy With Big, Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee and Jacob Souva, a beautifully illustrated rhyming tale of a boy who feels things to the degree that he doesn't quite understand; and Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall, which follows a crayon who feels different from everyone else around him because he's been mislabeled as red when he is really blue.
Parents, teachers, librarians, and others shared their favorite children’s books with CircleAround. Here are some of their recommendations.
1Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o
“As a mom of three and also a woman of color, I am passionate about ensuring my kids are confident in their own skin color. I therefore seek out books that help build their confidence. Sulwe is a great book where a young girl discovers the beauty of being Black and is able to gain confidence in her skin color. My daughter is 6 and at the age where she questions why she seems to be the minority in her school. This has been a great resource for myself and my husband to teach her.”
- Lola Akingbade, founder of Deyewa.com
2On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
“On the Night You Were Born is one of the best books for kids that build their confidence. The simple and poignant text, accompanied by exquisite illustrations, will tell your child how special they are and how much they are loved. This book will help them to understand and cherish the moment they were born — and every moment thereafter.”
- Victoria Taylor, founder of BestCaseParenting.com
3I Am Enough by Grace Byers
“A child must build confidence from an early age. One of the best ways to help with that is by indulging them in books. They are resourceful, knowledgeable, and act as a great companion. There are some books that I highly recommend for our little ones. I Am Enough is a lyrical ode that makes you love exactly who you are. This book is empowering in a lot of ways.”
- Beth Sparrow, founder of The VIP Roll
4Be You! by Peter H. Reynolds
“This inspiring book encourages children to be many things: brave, curious, adventurous, kind. But the most important exhortation is just to be you! With diverse characters and lovely illustrations, this book is one that children can turn to over and over again for both motivation to put themselves out there and a reminder of their intrinsic self-worth.”
- Martha Villaroman, founder of Raise Curious Kids
5Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“This timeless classic is translated and published in many languages and teaches children important life lessons about compassion and self-confidence. The young traveler is childish and goes on a quest to Earth, where he learns and relearns everything. It gives him the confidence to interact with unknown people and come back successful from his travels.
There is always a new message to take from each read. It gives children a perspective on how to accept things that aren’t under their control. As a result, they develop a sense of contentment and admiration for all the good around them. It becomes a child’s drive to pursue their life goals.”
- Elizabeth Hicks, co-founder of Parenting Nerd
6I Want a Nickname by Tradara McLaurine
“Frustrated with everyone mispronouncing her name, Shadaia decides she needs a nickname. This powerful book will encourage all children to be proud of the name they’re given. I Want a Nickname is a picture book about empowerment, self-esteem, and loving the meaning behind your name. This book is perfect for children ages 4 to 7 and everyone who has experienced frustrations of having a unique name. I believe this is a great confidence-building book because it takes courage and confidence to correct someone when making a mistake, and those with a unique name are constantly having to decide when to and when not to correct someone.”
- Tradara McLaurine, children’s book author