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Pre-K

Growing Reader

Picture Books to Help Teach
the Value of Honesty

by Rosemary D'Urso

picture-books-about-honesty
Photography by Seana Williamson

While honesty is a virtue we would all like our children to possess, it’s challenging to teach. Books demonstrating the importance of telling the truth are an excellent way to open up conversations about integrity and the value of honesty. Stories tackling the dangers of misinformation are also valuable for teaching children the significance of finding facts and evaluating materials. This book list provides relatable examples to help straighten children’s moral compasses.

  • Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf

    by Judy Sierra, illustrated by J. Otto Seibold

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    Fairy tale fans will delight in seeing their favorite characters pursue the truth when the Big Bad Wolf attempts to share an alternate account of The Three Little Pigs. When his lies get challenged, the wolf admits his wrongdoing, seeks forgiveness, and vows to be a better friend.

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  • Betty Bunny Didn't Do It

    by Michael Kaplan, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch

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    The exuberant Betty Bunny learns an essential lesson in this amusing story. After accidentally breaking a lamp and vase, Betty blames the destruction on the tooth fairy. This comical book is full of humorous family dynamics and provides a lighthearted but impactful approach to honesty.

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  • A Big Fat Enormous Lie

    by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, illustrated by David McPhail

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    This relatable book follows a boy who lies about eating cookies and quickly regrets it. His remorse and frustration at himself are clear as he shouts at a monster personifying his fib. Once he admits the truth to his parents, the monster disappears, and the boy feels relieved, promising not to tell any more lies.

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  • Fiona's Little Lie

    by Rosemary Wells

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    When Fiona realizes she forgot to bring her friend Felix any birthday treats, she tells an outlandish lie instead of owning up to her mistake. With just the right amount of silliness, this charming friendship tale teaches children the value of taking responsibility and telling the truth.

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  • Just Ask!

    by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Rafael López

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    Inspired by her experience with juvenile diabetes, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has created a vibrant and affirming book that invites children to have open and honest conversations about disabilities and illnesses. Using a garden as a metaphor, readers learn to understand and embrace our differences and make the world a better place by talking about them.

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  • The Berenstain Bears and the Truth

    by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain

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    After breaking the rules by playing soccer indoors, Brother and Sister Bear lie to cover up a shattered lamp. While the lamp gets glued back together, they learn that “trust is one thing you can’t put back together once it’s broken.” They may have a hard time following the rules, but lying is something they vow never to do again.

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  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

    by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith

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    Truth is a matter of perspective in this hilarious fractured fairytale. Alexander T. Wolf tries to persuade readers that the mishap with the three little pigs is one big misunderstanding. Children will have fun determining if his story is factual or just a bunch of hogwash.

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  • The Sad Little Fact

    by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Pete Oswald

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    This timely tale follows a little blue fact buried underground while lies masquerading as verities run rampant. Luckily, the truth wins out in the end. This modern parable is an excellent conversation starter on the dangers of misinformation and the importance of evaluating sources.

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  • A Bike Like Sergio's

    by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones

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    When a woman drops a dollar bill, a boy picks it up and later discovers it is actually $100. He is tempted to use the money to purchase the bike he longs for, but after misplacing the cash and finding it again, he recognizes the worry the woman must be feeling. During another chance encounter, he returns the money, and though he does not get his bike, he earns the respect of his parents. The boy’s authentic reaction to finding the money will resonate with readers who learn that doing the right thing is important, even if it’s difficult.

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  • The Problem with Problems

    by Rachel Rooney, illustrated by Zehra Hicks

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    This clever book presents anthropomorphic problems as colorful creatures and teaches children to deal with their hardships honestly and head-on. The rhyming text and bright illustrations draw the reader in while instilling life lessons about confidently overcoming obstacles.

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  • Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots

    by Michael Rex

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    The difference between facts and opinions can be tricky, but this playful and educational story makes it clear. Children will love the entertaining robots who cleverly explain how facts are absolute truths while opinions are based on what we believe but cannot prove. Understanding these two terms is an essential skill that is made more fun by this engaging tale!

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