Children’s books are such a magical tool for conversation starters with children. I find that it is often easier for children to discuss emotions when they can speak about the characters in a book versus themselves. Often times as children feel more comfortable talking about book characters they feel confident to relate the experiences to themselves. Today I have compiled a list of Confident Characters in Children’s Books. These characters are some of my children’s favorites.
Disclosure: The Innovation Press sent us a complimentary copy of Zoey and Sassafras. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
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Zoey and Sassafras Series
To say my children have fallen head over heels in love with the Zoey and Sassafras series is an understatement. We are so smitten that we have already preordered the 4th book and are eagerly awaiting its release. This new series explores the world of Zoey and her ability, just like her mom, to not only see magical creatures, but figure out how to help them. As her mom travels for work, Zoey bravely learns how to enter the barn and help the animals all by herself. We adore this strong character!
The story of Grace has been a favorite of mine since I became a teacher 14 years ago. With two strong female role models by her side (her mom and grandmother), Grace’s confidence shines bright as she performs the role of Peter Pan despite being told she can’t because she is Black and a girl. This is a role model I am happy to have for my children.
I will admit my twin 6 year olds find this book a little sad due to the fact that the the parents never accept the child for who she truly is, but 10,000 Dresses led us to a powerful conversation about how some parents are not accepting of transgender children, and that these children must be the bravest of all. Bailey learns to look beyond her parents for the acceptance of self and finds this in a new friend who sees her identity as a gift.
The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes is so much more than a story about Easter. In fact, whether or not you celebrate Easter you need to check this book out. It is hard to believe Du Bose Heyward wrote this tale of feminism in 1939. With some of the most breathtaking illustrations I have seen, this story speaks with intelligence about the importance of a dream, a purpose, a plan and strength of mind, body and spirit. The country bunny had the confidence of patience to wait years before her dream came true.
Jacob’s New Dress
This book quickly climbed the charts to my daughter’s new favorite. After our first reading she said “I’m really proud of how brave Jacob is.” Jacob’s New Dress puts front and center how a child’s confidence can blossom when she or he has the support of parents, teachers and friends.
Talents come in all shapes and sizes. While the other mice are gathering food for Winter, Frederick focuses on gathering a different type of need. While the mice clearly don’t value what Frederick is doing he confidently continues to gather colors and words knowing he will be able to contribute his own talents during the bleak Winter months.
We love the Ladybug Girl series. Lulu uses her imagination to confidently explore her world and my children love exploring with her. When she faces an obstacle (whether physical or emotional) Lulu (aka Ladybug Girl) takes the time to slow down and figure out how to overcome it.
The Paper Bag Princess
In The Paper Bag Princess, when a dragon burns down the castle and steals the prince she is supposed to marry, Elizabeth doesn’t skip a beat by throwing on a paper bag and taking off after the dragon to get the prince back. Once rescued, Elizabeth realizes the prince treats her horribly and does not deserve a place in her life. The ability to walk away from a toxic relationship requires a great deal of confidence. Elizabeth is an awesome role model for children as they navigate social situations.
I Like Myself
I Like Myself! is all about celebrating you. This book oozes confidence with each turn of the page and will make children want to jump up and celebrate themselves too.
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun
There are times when a child is confident only to have another child’s words and actions make them question everything that had previously made them feel good. It takes a great deal of confidence to be proud of your differences and an even greater amount of confidence and empathy to help the person who was hurting your feelings. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun is a great story to start off the school year with.
Oh how I love Extra Yarn! The combination of gorgeous illustrations and message of the book make it one of my favorites. When a man sees the girl in the story knitting beautiful yarn creations for the townspeople out of a box that seems to have an endless supply of yarn he goes crazy with angry jealously. The girl in the story is strong, but calm- the perfect balance of true confidence. Even after he has men steal her knitting box she stays true to herself.
Stella Brings Her Family
As a teacher I will admit that I don’t believe in celebrating Mother’s Day or Father’s Day in a classroom setting because I would never want a child to feel left out or make a decision on who to invite, but I love the message in this book. When it comes time for all the children to create invitations to the Mother’s Day party Stella is left not knowing what to do. Who should she invite when she has two dads? Stella makes the confident decision to invite all the people in her life who help make her life full of joy.
King and King
When it comes times for the prince to choose his princess and become King and Queen, the prince admits that he has never been attracted to any princesses. Then in walks the prince of his dream and he realizes who his true love is. I love this twist on a classic fairytale and the confidence of the prince to fall in love with the person of his choosing.
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