16 Uplifting Children’s Books to Promote Self-Confidence

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May 2021

Teaching children to have self-confidence at a young age is integral to their healthy development. Since young kids are easily influenced by what they see and hear, there is no better way to teach them how to appreciate, speak up for, and love themselves than by reading with them. Below is a list of our favorite kids’ books that will help build self-esteem and remind little readers how important and unique they are!

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Bookshelf full of colorful books next to red rocking horse

Books About Self-Confidence for Toddlers

I Like Me! Book Cover
I Like Me! Pages

I Like Me!

Nancy Carlson
Book Type: Picture
The peppy pig in this book likes herself! If she feels down, she can cheer herself up. If she falls, she will pick herself right back up. If she makes a mistake, she’ll try again and again until she succeeds— and she knows she can. This little pig who loves the way she looks and feels is doing great! 

A perfect introduction to the concept of self-esteem, this book is full of bright illustrations and lively text. With simple text and vibrant colors, I Like Me! is perfect for toddlers. Its message will help little ones understand how to cope with big feelings and believe in themselves.

Dear Girl: A Celebration of Wonderful, Smart, Beautiful You!  Book Cover
Dear Girl: A Celebration of Wonderful, Smart, Beautiful You!  Pages

Dear Girl: A Celebration of Wonderful, Smart, Beautiful You!

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Paris Rosenthal 
Book Type: Picture
Dear Girl, you are wonderful, smart, beautiful, and— most of all— you are remarkably you. This gorgeous book is a letter to all girls out there who need to be reminded how powerful, strong, and valuable they are. If your daughter needs some advice and an opportunity to grow in confidence and self-love, this is the picture book for her. Whether dancing, jumping in a mud puddle, or sporting a lovely face full of freckles, all girls are great!  

This book is an inspiration for girls of all ages, but it is especially uplifting for little ones. With simple, letter-styled text and stunning illustrations, Dear Girl will remind your daughter to love all the special things about her. It will teach her to cherish every part of herself, inside and out. A sweet gift for all the special occasions in a girl’s life, this letter to your daughter is sure to become your toddler’s favorite.

Always Be You Book Cover

Always Be You

Ioana Stoian 
Book Type: Board
Learn all about the importance of being true to yourself in this sweet board book. Affirmations of self-acceptance and confidence will encourage your toddler to love themselves. Simple and sweet messages of love and kindness create a fun reading experience for kids and parents alike.

We love this board book for its important message and beautiful paper-cut illustration. Bright images and affirmations of love, acceptance, empathy, inclusion, and diversity are perfect for teaching your young one to be kind to themselves and others. The complex concept of self-esteem and treating yourself and others with kindness is distilled perfectly in this lovely board book.

You Are Light Book Cover
You Are Light Pages

You Are Light

Aaron Becker
Book Type: Board
This book holds within it lovely bright die-cut circles that compose illustrations of a shining sun. When held to the light, the circles reflect and glow, paying tribute to the wonders of light. Your toddler will begin to understand all that light can do: warm our faces, draw up the sea to make the rain, feed all the things that grow, and help to create all the brilliant wonders of the world. Most importantly, your little one will understand that they are the light. 

This abstract board book is wonderful for its lovely interactive illustrations. Each page is gorgeously decorated with a prism of colors that will engage your toddler. The book’s ultimate message of finding light inside of us and unity among ourselves and the world around us is a valuable introduction to self-confidence for young readers. 

You Matter Book Cover
You Matter Pages

You Matter

Christian Robinson
Book Type: Picture
See the world from all points of view in this sweet picture book. If you feel small, weak, insignificant, too quiet, or too loud— you matter. If you go with the tide or forge your own path— you matter. If you’re impacted by those around you or doing your own impacting— you matter. If you’re from here or there, the sea or the sky, look like this or that— you still matter! You will always matter, no matter what! 

This wondrously illustrated book opens up a world of perspective for little readers. It reinforces how important it is to believe in yourself and really drives home the idea that everyone matters. Full of different settings, landscapes, and people of all shapes, sizes, and colors, this book is a glorious read sure to boost your child’s self-confidence.

Remarkably You Book Cover
Remarkably You Pages

Remarkably You

Pat Zietlow Miller
Book Type: Board
Remarkably You is a manifesto of all the wonderful things that make you you! This book reminds us that we all bring an unparalleled flair to this world, and without us, it just wouldn’t be the same. Celebrate individuality and the beauty of being yourself in this lively read. 

Delightfully illustrated and uplifting, this story will teach kids to feel confident about their talents and what makes them unique! Engaging illustrations and lovely artwork will encourage your toddler to recognize their own self-worth and help them feel confident in their own skin. 

You Are (Not) Small Book Cover
You Are (Not) Small Pages

You Are (Not) Small

Pat Zietlow Miller
Book Type: Board
Remarkably You is a manifesto of all the wonderful things that make you you! This book reminds us that we all bring an unparalleled flair to this world, and without us, it just wouldn’t be the same. Celebrate individuality and the beauty of being yourself in this lively read. 

Delightfully illustrated and uplifting, this story will teach kids to feel confident about their talents and what makes them unique! We love this book for its use of critters to touch on a big concept like self-confidence. Engaging illustrations and lovely artwork will encourage your toddler to recognize their own self-worth and help them feel confident in their own skin. 

little girl stands near pony

Books About Self-Confidence for Preschoolers

Red Book Cover
Red Book Pages

Red: A Crayon’s Story  

Michael Hall
Book Type: Picture
Red is suffering from an identity crisis! This blue crayon has been mistakenly labeled as “red.” Everyone tries to convince him to be red— his mother sets him up on a playdate with yellow to draw an orange, his teacher encourages him to draw strawberries, and the scissors try to help him free from the label he’s trapped in. After meeting an unlikely friend and encountering a brand new perspective, he finally realizes he’s not red at all! He’s Blue!

This book is a delightful and creative read that will teach your child it’s okay to be original. Fun illustrations and witty text will keep your preschooler captivated. This book spreads the wonderful message that with the support and encouragement of family and friends, self-confidence comes easily.

Chrysanthemum Book Cover
Chrysanthemum Pages

Chrysanthemum

Kevin Henkes
Book Type: Picture
Chrysanthemum loves her name! It is unique and special and it makes her stand out. On her first day of school, however, she realizes that the kids at school don’t like it quite as much as she does. They tease her, saying “you are named after a flower,” and asking “what do you smell like?” Chrysanthemum wilts. Learn what it takes to make her bloom bright and vibrant once more. 

A classic story of self-esteem and navigating troublesome relationships with peers, Chrysanthemum is a must-read for littles. It teaches kids that it’s normal to feel let down when you don’t fit in, but important to stay true to yourself. It also introduces an important and individualistic character in Chrysanthemum’s music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle, who affirms her inner beauty and encourages her to shine bright.

I’m Gonna Like Me: Letting Off A Little Self Esteem Book Cover
I’m Gonna Like Me: Letting Off A Little Self Esteem Pages

I’m Gonna Like Me: Letting Off A Little Self Esteem

Jamie Lee Curtis 
Book Type: Picture
Celebrate liking yourself! Told between alternating perspectives of a little boy and little girl, this book is about navigating a day with love for and acceptance of yourself. Fun and bright illustrations and sing-songy text bring together a delightful story of self-esteem. 

This book is a wonderful read for preschoolers. Great to read in a classroom or at family storytime, the rhyming text and engaging pictures in this bestseller will draw young readers in. The book’s message of self-acceptance and joy in individuality and diversity is a universal message that will strike a chord with kids and parents alike. 

It's Okay to be Different Book Cover
It's Okay To Be Different Pages

It’s Okay to Be Different 

Todd Parr
Book Type: Picture
It’s okay to be a different color. It’s okay to dance by yourself. It’s okay to wear glasses. It’s okay to have a pet worm…. It’s okay to be different!

It’s Okay to Be Different is a witty kids’ book that delivers the important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence. It’s a great book for preschoolers beginning their journey to becoming independent readers, with its bold colors and simple text. The book introduces littles to an important dialogue about standing out and loving yourself, and the story proves that it’s never too early to begin developing a strong sense of self-confidence.

I Am Enough Cover
I Am Enough Pages

I Am Enough

Grace Byers
Book Type: Picture
A lyrical ode to loving yourself, I Am Enough is all about self-acceptance and empowerment. Like the rain, I’m here to pour and drip and fall until I’m full. Like the water, here to swell. Like the fire, here to burn. But that does not dictate our worth; we both have places here on earth. The little girl in this book teaches all little ones that they are strong and capable of doing great things. 

I Am Enough is a great and empowering narrative for preschoolers that will affirm their individuality and boost their self-esteem. Full of moving similes and a lesson that we are all different— and yet, all the same— is an important message for young readers. This book of lovely illustrations and inspirational text is sure to make a wonderful addition to any little bookshelf.

Crown Cover
Crown Pages

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Author: Derrick Barnes
Book Type: Picture
This book is about the wonders a fresh cut will do for a young boy. It will inspire him to ace his test, all the girls will notice him, and it will help him achieve whatever he wants. The barbershop is where the magic happens, and a fresh cut makes boys fly

This is an uplifting story about how a simple trip to the barber shop is full of meaning, purpose, and empowerment for young kids. A celebration of Black joy, Derrick Barnes’ rhythmic text is thought-provoking and inspirational. His message of Black boys being treated like kings will embolden young readers and, when coupled with Gordon C. James’ glorious watercolor illustrations, make for an unforgettable, award-winning read.

Spoon Cover
Spoon Book Pages

Spoon

Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Book Type: Picture
Meet Spoon. He’s always been a happy little utensil. But lately, he feels like life as a spoon just isn’t cutting it. He thinks Fork, Knife, and The Chopsticks all have it so much better than him. But do they? And what do they think about Spoon?

Spoon is a fun and creative take on the concept of individuality. It will help make ideas of self-esteem and confidence more approachable for preschool-aged kids. Full of silly illustrations and simple text, this book spreads a sweet message about learning to love yourself.

I Like Myself Cover
I Like Myself Pages

I Like Myself

Karen Beaumont
Book Type: Picture
High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves–inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! Here’s a little girl who knows what really matters.

A sweet story of self-empowerment and confidence, I Like Myself is a great choice for a preschooler’s library. Spunky illustrations and bright colors will catch the eyes of little readers, and the text will inspire kids to care about what matters most. Little ones should learn to embrace what makes them special at a young age, and this book will introduce them to a positive message about loving themselves from day one.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon Cover
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon Pages

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

Patty Lovell
Book Type: Picture
Molly Lou Melon is a bit different from the other kids, but that won’t slow her down! Wise and helpful advice from her grandma helps Molly to stand up for herself, be true to herself, and stand tall. Even though Molly is smaller than all the other kids in her class, has buck teeth, and can’t sing on tune, she learns that if she carries herself with confidence, the world will look up to her… and if she smiles, the whole world smiles, too. 

This is a sweet story of being true to yourself. Molly Lou Melon is a delightful and joyous character that little readers will be sure to look up to after reading this uplifting story. The book harbors an important lesson about being confident and loving all parts of yourself and finding beauty in all of your talents, even if others discourage you.  

 

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