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4 Children’s Books about Confidence – 2023

One of my favorite teaching strategies is using picture books to teach SEL skills. Picture books are powerful tools that make social emotional learning topics fun and meaningful. They are also very accessible. Even if you don’t have a robust collection of high quality children’s literature in your classroom library, you likely have access to books through your school library, public library, or on the internet. The best part is that students love listening to and discussing stories about relatable characters and storylines. They learn so much from them! In this post, I share my favorite children’s books about confidence.

All of these children’s books about confidence in this post are part of my Starts With a Story collection. Everyone Loves Cupcake, The Lion Inside, Giraffes Can’t Dance and Rock What Ya Got are part of our confidence SEL Unit, which includes interactive read aloud lesson plans among tons of other resources for teaching confidence. Check out the list of picture books below!

4 Children’s Books about Confidence

Below are 4 quality children’s books about confidence for elementary teachers. Your kids will love these read alouds! They are great for teaching self-confidence, as well as many other concepts and skills.

1. Everyone Loves Cupcake by Kelly Dipucchio

Cupcake was perfect in every way, but eventually people thought she was too perfect. She sought out Cookie, who gave her advice: just be yourself. Cupcake embraced this advice and shouted that she hates birthday parties and that her frosting isn’t even her real color! This story allows students to see a character gain confidence and come to appreciate herself. My Confidence SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

Everyone Loves Cupcake book coverThe Lion Inside book cover

2. The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright and Jim Field

The second on this list of children’s books about confidence is The Lion Inside. In this story, Mouse is small and meek, living in a tiny house at the bottom of the rock. Hardly anyone notices him and he was often forgotten about. Lion lives at the top of the rock and is very loud to show his importance. This story shows the confidence that Mouse gains as it climbs up a steep mountain. Through their journey of climbing, they learn that everyone has a little bit of lion and a little bit of mouse inside of them. My Confidence SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

3. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andrade

Gerald is a giraffe who wants to dance, but does not think that he is good at it. When it is time for the Jungle Dance, Gerald becomes sad because he thinks he is a bad dancer. That is, until a cricket teaches him that he needs to listen to the song that is right for him. Gerald listens carefully for music coming from the moon. He is ecstatic when he realizes he is finally dancing! Gerald returns to the Jungle Dance and all the animals are shocked by how well he can dance! Gerald tells them that everyone can dance when they find music that they love. This story lends itself to teaching about confidence as Gerald learns about what makes him special. My Confidence SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

Giraffe Problems book cover and worksheetRock What Ya Got book cover

4. Rock What Ya Got by Samantha Berger

The last on this list of children’s books about confidence is Rock What Ya Got. In this story, a drawing of a girl comes to life and celebrates the artist’s hard work. She boldly shares that she does not want to be erased, and provides self-loving mantras to the illustrator. As the illustrator changes the hair, the body, and the background, the girl reminds the artist that she rocks and does not have to change anything. Join the fierce girl in a story of confidence, kindness, and resilience that inspires anyone at any age! My Confidence SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

Integrated SEL and Literacy Activities

Below are some integrated SEL and literacy resources for elementary teachers.

SEL Unit

Our Confidence Unit, which is available individually or as part of a year-long SEL bundle, includes lessons for the first four books on this list. This unit is packed with lesson plans, teaching resources, games, and activities. Learn more about it!

Confidence SEL Unit
Social Emotional Learning Units Bundle

SEL Book Companions

As I mentioned earlier, I love teaching SEL skills using picture books. That’s why I created the Starts With a Story Collection. High quality children’s literature supports elementary teachers in delivering meaningful and accessible SEL lessons. All of the read alouds on this list are part of this book companion collection. Check out the book companions below!

Everyone Loves CupcakeThe Lion InsideRock What Ya Got

We hope you found this list of children’s books about confidence helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts:

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