Growth mindset picture books teach kids that they can learn new things, adapt to changes, and find solutions to recurring problems. I struggled with breaking out of a fixed mindset even until my adult years, so I think it’s wonderful that kids have access to books like this at such a young age. These stories are all sweet, inspiring and encouraging. If you want to teach your kids how to be resilient, these picture books about growth mindset are a great place to start.
Best Picture Books About Growth Mindset
Here are 40+ growth mindset picture books for kids:
Bella’s Recipe for Success
Published: July 13, 2021
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Bella wants to find out what she’s good at. But she quits everything she (barely) tries because she’s a disaster at it. Her somersaults are like clumsy jirafas rolling downhill, her piano playing like elephant feet. When she decides to learn how to bake with her wise old abuela, her first attempt at dulce de leche frosting looks like scaly cocodrilo skin. She must learn it’s okay to try again or she won’t be good at anything. Peppered with Spanish vocabulary and set in an intergenerational Latinx home, Bella’s Recipe for Success will show all kids the value of practicing to learn a new skill, and that it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.
Catch That Chicken
Published: July 7, 2020
Lami is the best chicken catcher in the whole village. Her sister may be speedy at spelling, her friend fast at braiding hair, and her brother brave with bulls, but when it comes to chickens, nobody is faster or braver than Lami. That is, until the day when Lami chases a little too fast, up the baobab tree, and reaches a little too far . . . ow! How can she catch chickens with an ankle that’s puffed up like an angry lizard? Could it be, as Nana Nadia says, that quick thinking is more important than quick running? Award-winning author Atinuke celebrates Nigerian village life in a story vibrantly illustrated by Angela Brooksbank with a universal message at its heart.
What the Road Said
Published: March 23, 2021
Which way do I go?
That is your choice to make,
said the Road.
But what if I go the wrong way?
The Road curved a little,
almost as if it was giving me a hug, and said,
Do not worry. Sometimes we go the wrong way on our
way to the right way.
It’s okay to be afraid or to sometimes wander down the wrong path. Bestselling poet and activist Cleo Wade’s What the Road Said features illustrations by Lucie de Moyencourt and encourages us to lead with kindness and curiosity, remembering that the most important thing we can do in life is to keep going.
What Do You Do With a Chance?
Published: January 10, 2018
In this story, a child is visited by his first chance and unsure what to do with it, he lets it go. Later on, when a new chance arrives he reaches for it, but this time he misses and falls. Embarrassed and afraid, he begins ignoring each new chance that comes by, even though he still wants to take them. Then one day he realizes that he doesn’t need to be brave all the time, just at the right time, to find out what amazing things can happen when he takes a chance
The Little Butterfly That Could
Published: April 6, 2021
Which way to the flowers?
That way. 200 miles.
How am I supposed to travel that far?!
Can I take a plane?
Then I’ll never make it!
This comical companion to Ross Burach’s The Very Impatient Caterpillar pays loving homage to every child’s struggle to persist through challenges while also delivering a lighthearted lesson on butterfly migration. Remember, if at first you don’t succeed, fly, fly again!
A Walk in the Words
Published: September 14, 2021
When Hudson Talbott was a little boy, he loved drawing, and it came naturally to him. But reading? No way! One at a time, words weren’t a problem, but long sentences were a struggle. As his friends moved on to thicker books, he kept his slow reading a secret. But that got harder every year. He felt alone, lost, and afraid in a world of too many words.
Fortunately, his love of stories wouldn’t let him give up. He started giving himself permission to read at his own pace, using the words he knew as stepping-stones to help draw him into a story. And he found he wasn’t so alone–in fact, lots of brilliant people were slow readers, too. Learning to accept the fact that everyone does things in their own unique way, and that was okay, freed him up and ultimately helped Hudson thrive and become the fabulous storyteller he is today.
Published: March 31, 2020
After Life literally knocks on their door, one kid discovers that Life is truly what you make it. It’s weird and may not always cooperate, but Life’s beauty becomes apparent when it’s embraced for all of its quirks. This story is filled with tongue-in-cheek idioms that will appeal to readers of all ages and will impart deeper wisdoms about the many milestones and stages of life.
There Must Be More Than That!
Published: October 6, 2020
There Must Be More Than That! is all about perspective, and wading past the bad to embrace the possibility of good.
• A thoughtful and laugh-out-loud exploration into an uncertain ever after
• Empowers readers to choose their own future
• A powerful antidote to anxiety for kids unsure about current events and what comes next
What does the future hold? This question can be daunting—or delightfully promising!
Readers of all ages will seek solace in this smart and spirited exploration of the good that might be right around the corner.
Published: August 11, 2020
Just a kid from Akron, Ohio, who is dedicated to uplifting youth everywhere, LeBron James knows the key to a better future is to excel in school, do your best, and keep your family close.
I Promise is a lively and inspiring picture book that reminds us that tomorrow’s success starts with the promises we make to ourselves and our community today.
The Magical Yet
Published: April 21, 2020
Each of us, from the day we’re born, is accompanied by a special companion—the Yet. Can’t tie your shoes? Yet! Can’t ride a bike? Yet! Can’t play the bassoon? Don’t worry, Yet is there to help you out.
The Magical Yet is the perfect tool for parents and educators to turn a negative into a positive when helping children cope with the inevitable difficult learning moments we all face. Whether a child or an adult, this encouraging and uplifting book reminds us that we all have things we haven’t learned…yet!
I Can’t Reach It!
Published: December 22, 2020
Being short when you’re supposed to be tall isn’t always easy.
Moyo, the little giraffe is one lucky girl – she is growing up in the African savanna enjoying the beauty of nature.
But growing up as the tallest animal in the world isn’t easy, especially when you’re still short.
Moyo faces new challenges every day but thanks to the encouragement of her mom, the majestic giraffe lady, she never gives up and discovers that anything is possible if only she believes in herself and her abilities.
Kids of all ages will adore this heartwarming children’s book that takes them to beautiful Africa. Gorgeous illustrations and an encouraging story show kids the power of self-esteem and perseverance.
Julia’s House Moves On
Published: September 29, 2020
Julia’s house is restless.
Julia and her family of lost creatures are ready to move on. But where will they go? And how will they get there?
Don’t worry―Julia has a plan for that! Julia always has a plan. But when Julia’s plans all fail…
What’s left for her?
How to Solve a Problem: The Rise(and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion
Published: April 7, 2020
To a rock climber, a boulder is called a “problem,” and you solve it by climbing to the top. There are twists and turns, falls and scrapes, and obstacles that seem insurmountable until you learn to see the possibilities within them. And then there is the moment of triumph, when there’s nothing above you but sky and nothing below but a goal achieved.
Ashima Shiraishi draws on her experience as a world-class climber in this story that challenges readers to tackle the problems in their own lives and rise to greater heights than they would have ever thought possible.
Published: March 3, 2020
Discover a joyful reminder of the ways that every child is unique and special, from the beloved creator of The Dot, Happy Dreamer, and New York Times bestseller, The Word Collector. Here, Reynolds reminds readers to “be your own work of art.” To be patient, persistent, and true. Because there is one, and only one, YOU.
Fauja Singh Keeps Going
Published: August 25, 2020
Every step forward is a victory.
Fauja Singh was born determined. He was also born with legs that wouldn’t allow him to play cricket with his friends or carry him to school miles from his village in Punjab. But that didn’t stop him. Working on his family’s farm, Fauja grew stronger to meet his own full potential.
He never stopped striving. At the age of 81, after a lifetime of making his body, mind, and heart stronger, Fauja decided to run his first marathon. He went on to break records all around the world and became the first person over 100 to complete the grueling long-distance race.
Your Fantastic Elastic Brain
Published: December 13, 2010
Learn how much your brain can grow! The perfect introduction to growth mindset, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It is:
- A growth mindset book for kids
- A teacher must-have for classrooms
- The best resource for anyone to teach growth mindset
Did you know you can stretch and grow your own brain? Or that making mistakes is one of the best ways your brain learns? Awarded as one of the best growth mindset books for kids, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It teaches all the ways that the brain can develop with exercise, just like the rest of our bodies.
Educator and psychologist Dr. JoAnn Deak offers a fun and engaging introduction to the anatomy and functions of the brain that will empower each young reader to S-T-R-E-T-C-H and grow their fantastic, elastic brain!
The Book of Mistakes
Published: April 18, 2017
One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake.
The weird frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush.
And the inky smudges… they look as if they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky.
As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too.
Published: September 1, 2018
Eraser is always cleaning up everyone else’s mistakes. Except for Ruler and Pencil Sharpener, none of the other school supplies seem to appreciate her. They all love how sharp Pencil is and how Tape and Glue help everyone stick together. Eraser wants to create so that she can shine like the others. She decides to give it a try, but it’s not until the rubber meets the road that Eraser begins to understand a whole lot about herself.
Jabari Tries (Jabari,#2)
Published: September 8, 2020
Jabari is inventing a machine that will fly all the way across the yard! But making it go from CRASH to WHOOSH will take grit, patience, and maybe even a little help from his sister.
Jabari is making a flying machine in his backyard! “It’ll be easy. I don’t need any help,” he declares. But it doesn’t work! Jabari is frustrated. Good thing Dad is there for a pep talk and his little sister, Nika, is there to assist, fairy wings and all. With the endearing father-child dynamic of Jabari Jumps and engaging mixed-media illustrations, Gaia Cornwall’s tale shows that through perseverance and flexibility, an inventive thought can become a brilliant reality.
Y Is for Yet: A Growth Mindset Alphabet
Published: August 24, 2020
Mistakes aren’t just mistakes. They’re growth spurts. Developing a growth mindset—a belief that learning is a process that requires dedication and hard work, not just talent—helps kids learn from their mistakes, build resilience, and strive to be a little better every day.
Not your typical alphabet book, Y Is for Yet uses the ABCs as an accessible framework to introduce growth mindset and all its possibilities. From A to Z, or Ability to Zany, kids learn new vocabulary that expands their view of themselves learners.
Readers can open to any page and find useful information. Younger children learn new vocabulary, while older kids can increase their knowledge of the brain’s neuroplasticity and the many ways growth mindset can be put into action. A section at the back of the book provides a kid-friendly glossary of terms and activities adults can use to help kids build resilience and foster a growth mindset.
With an uplifting and positive tone, Y Is for Yet empowers kids to persevere and encourages them to view learning as a journey with limitless possibilities.
I Can’t Do That, Yet
Published: November 13, 2017
She’s too shy to try. Can a glimpse into the future give her the courage she craves?
Enna isn’t a queen of confidence. Struggling to believe in herself, the young girl is certain she doesn’t have what it takes to read during bedtime. But when she finally falls asleep, she’s greeted by a wonderful woman who’s incredibly familiar…
As the journey across her dreamscape shows her potential versions of herself, Enna is amazed at everything she’s learned how to do. But she knows all that growth won’t come free – it will take time, knowledge, and dedication.
Can Enna learn to tackle challenges with a smile?
In this indispensable tool for battling gender stereotypes and other hardships, author Esther Pia Cordova reveals mentalities that can hold kids of all kinds back. And by dismantling unhealthy thought processes, she encourages a bold new approach to living life to the fullest.
A Thousand No’s
Published: August 4, 2020
There was a little girl who had a great idea. She had the most amazing, superb, best idea ever!
NO? Wait, what do you mean NO? NO again?
What is she supposed to do with all these NO’s?
NO after NO after NO come the little girl’s way, twisting and squishing her idea. But by persevering, collaborating and using a little imagination, all those NO’s become the building blocks for the biggest YES ever!
Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!
Published: July 2, 2019
Change and transitions are hard, but Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! demonstrates how, when one experience ends, it opens the door for another to begin. It follows two best friends as they say goodbye to snowmen, and hello to stomping in puddles. They say goodbye to long walks, butterflies, and the sun…and hello to long evening talks, fireflies, and the stars. But the hardest goodbye of all comes when one of the friends has to move away. Feeling alone isn’t easy, and sometimes new beginnings take time. But even the hardest days come to an end, and you never know what tomorrow will bring.
Raise Your Hand
Published: March 26, 2019
When Alice Tapper noticed that the girls in her class weren’t participating as much as the boys, she knew she had to do something about it. With help from her Girl Scout troop and her parents, she came up with a patch that other girls could earn if they took a pledge to be more confident in school. Alice even wrote an op-ed about the experience for the New York Times! Inspired by that piece, this picture book illustrates her determination, bravery, and unwillingness to accept the status quo. With Marta Kissi’s delightful illustrations depicting Alice’s story, young readers everywhere will want to follow Alice’s lead and raise their hand!
Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave
Published: October 16, 2018
Tomorrow I’ll be all the things I tried to be today:
Adventurous, Strong, Smart, Curious, Creative, Confident, & Brave.
And if I wasn’t one of them, I know that it’s OK.
Journey through a world filled with positive and beautifully hand-lettered words of widsom, inspiration, and motivation. As this book reminds readers, tomorrow is another day, full of endless opportunities–all you have to do is decide to make the day yours.
Published: October 9, 2018
Meet Elbow Grease, a little monster truck with a big problem! He’s smaller than his four brothers, but wants to prove that he has the guts and the grit to do big things. He decides that entering the Demolition Derby is the perfect way to show everyone that what he lacks in horsepower he makes up for in gumption. From multi-talented mega celebrity John Cena comes this exciting story about the importance of believing in yourself and never giving up. Full of high-octane illustrations and a new character kids will cheer for, this fun and fast-paced book proves that a little Elbow Grease . . . can go a long way!!
Published: December 26, 2017
Little Penguin Pip-Pip would love to join in with all his friends swimming in the sea, but there’s just one problem . . . he’s scared of water. Can Pip-Pip overcome his fears and finally take the plunge? This irresistible story shows that sometimes all it takes is a little bit of encouragement — and a whole lot of heart — to finally make that leap and be BRAVE! Be Brave, Little Penguin is the eagerly awaited new picture book from the creators of the bestselling Giraffes Can’t Dance. Written in true Giles Andreae style, this feel-good rhyming story portrays a positive message of confidence and self-esteem. Illustrations filled with humor and warmth by Guy Parker-Rees will help make this touching tale a family favorite.
Giraffes Cant Dance
Published: September 1, 2001
Gerald is a giraffe who simply can’t dance. Try as he may, his long, spindly legs buckle whenever he starts to boogy. Every year he dreads going to the Great Jungle Dance – until one night when he finds his own special music…
After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back up Again
Published: October 3, 2017
Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?
Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.
Will he summon the courage to face his fear?
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
Published: October 4, 2011
Every student, teacher, and perfectionist needs to read this book about learning and growing from your mistakes! The perfect introduction to growth mindset, The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes is:
- A growth mindset book for kids
- A teacher must-have for classrooms
- An educational book for ages 4-8 (and for everyone learning growth mindset!)
Beatrice Bottomwell has NEVER (not once!) made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, the entire town calls her The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes!
One day, the inevitable happens: Beatrice makes a huge mistake in front of everyone!
But in the end, readers (and perfectionists) will realize that life is more fun when you enjoy everything—even the mistakes.
The Most Magnificent Thing
Published: August 1, 2013
The girl has a wonderful idea. “She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!” But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.
Published: September 23, 2010
A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator.
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Published: September 3, 2013
And now you can follow Rosie’s further adventures—with her friends Iggy Peck and Ada Twist—in the instant New York Times bestseller Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters, the first in a BRAND-NEW chapter book series, The Questioneers!
Rosie Revere dreamed of becoming a great engineer. Where some people see rubbish, Rosie sees inspiration. Alone in her room at night, shy Rosie constructs great inventions from odds and ends. Hot dog dispensers, helium pants, python-repelling cheese hats: Rosie’s gizmos would astound—if she ever let anyone see them.
Afraid of failure, she hides them away under her bed. Until a fateful visit from her great-great-aunt Rose (AKA Rosie the Riveter!), who shows her that the first flop isn’t something to fear—it’s something to celebrate. And you can only truly fail, if you quit.
I Can Be Anything! Don’t Tell Me I Can’t
Published: February 27, 2018
Zoe embraces all the wonders of our world and its infinite possibilities. “I can be anything I want to be!” she tells us, presenting herself in a range of careers. “But what if you fail?” asks a voice of doubt that attempts to undermine her confidence. Bold and sassy, Zoe swats the voice away at every turn, declaring her certainty with a charisma that will encourage us all to silence our fears. Why can’t a girl grow up to be President? Zoe can! When the voice of doubt continues, Zoe knows exactly what to say: “Go away, voice… I can be anything… but first, I have to learn to read. And don’t tell me I can’t!”Caldecott Award-winner Diane Dillon has created a winning character who defies anything to hold her back from achieving her goals. And the key to Zoe’s future success begins when Zoe defiantly opens her book, making it clear that both confidence and reading are tools we all need to make our dreams come true.
There Might Be Lobsters
Published: May 9, 2017
Lots of things at the beach scare Sukie. Lots. Because she is just a small dog, and the stairs are big and sandy, and the waves are big and whooshy, and the balls are big and beachy. And besides, there might be lobsters. With endearing illustrations and a perfectly paced text that captures a timid pup’s looping thoughts, here is a funny and honest read-aloud about how overwhelming the world can be when you’re worried — and how empowering it is to overcome your fears when it matters the most.
Published: January 17, 2017
A nurturing mama bird, a fearful baby, and a nest in a tall, tall tree. Ready, set, soar? Nope!
Sweetly and humorously told, here is a sparkling debut about the joys that come from embracing new experiences, written and illustrated by nationally-syndicated cartoonist Drew Sheneman.
Manjhi Moves a Mountain
Published: September 10, 2017
Dashrath Manjhi used a hammer and chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through the mountain separating his poor village from the nearby village with schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if their heart is big enough.
Published: March 14, 2017
Argyle Fox, with his signature style, wants to play outside on a springtime day, but the wind is wreaking havoc with his fun and games. As soon as he builds a card tower, climbs into a giant spider web, or takes up his pirate sword, here comes the wind: Woosh! Mama Fox tells grumpy Argyle that if he thinks long enough, he will come up with something to do. Following his mother’s suggestion and inspired by her knitting, he works all the pieces of his day together and creates the perfect solution. The story of Argyle teaches that failure is often a path to success and celebrates perseverance, creative thinking, and an old-fashioned springtime activity.
Published: March 28, 2017
From the beloved, bestselling creator of The Dot, The Word Collector, and I Am Human. Picture book and creativity guru Peter H. Reynolds’s inspirational book is a wonderful gift for graduations, new babies, milestone moments, and any happy occasion throughout the year. Discover a universally poignant celebration of the colorful spectrum of what it means to dream and the many ways to find happy! While the world tells us to sit still, to follow the rules, and to color inside the lines, Happy Dreamer celebrates all those moments in between when the mind and spirit soar and we are free to become our own true dreamer maximus! In Peter’s signature voice and style, this empowering picture book reminds children of how much their dreams matter, and while life will have ups and downs, he enlists readers to stay true to who they are, to tap into their most creative inner selves, and to never ever forget to dream big!
Off & Away
Published: June 5, 2018
How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It’s Jo’s dad’s job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell―but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own.
With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picturebook is a treasure.
Bubble Gum Brain: Ready, Get Mindset…GROW!
Published: December 21, 2020
I have Bubble Gum Brain. I like to chew on my thoughts, flex, bend and stretch my brain, and expand the way I think! I make great mistakes that help me learn.
I have Brick Brain. With me, things are the way they are…and they’re probably not going to change much. I am the way I am…and that’s just how it is.
Meet Bubble Gum Brain and Brick Brain: two kids with two VERY different mindsets. Bubble Gum Brain likes to have fun adventures, learn new things, and doesn’t worry about making great mistakes. Brick Brain is convinced that things are just fine the way they are and there’s not much he can do to change them, so why try?
When Bubble Gum Brain shows Brick Brain how to peel off his wrapper, Brick Brain begins to realize just how much more fun school…and life… can be!
Published: September 11, 2018
Even pigs can learn to fly: Once, there was a pig who admired birds. But he could never join them. Or could he? Thus begins the journey of a pig with big dreams, and the perseverance to make them come true. He develops flight plans, builds experimental contraptions, and has far-flung adventures, but at the end of the day, his favorite thing to do is sit and watch for those he loves best: birds. Il Sung Na creates a world at once whimsical and aspirational, where anything is possible and, yes, even pigs can learn to fly.
My Strong Mind
Published: August 6, 2018
Kate is a sporty and happy girl. She does well at school and has many friends. But like every girl, she sometimes faces difficult situations at home or at school. Discover how Kate uses her strong mind to tackle her daily challenges with a positive attitude.
Kate will face several situations where she applies a positive attitude to deal with her challenge. Amongst them are getting ready in time in the morning, doing cartwheels, standing in front of the whole class with show and tell and playing basketball.
Kate applies techniques like goals setting, positive self-talk, accept failure as learning, visualisation of a problem, breathing or mindfulness exercise, gratitude, and controlled distraction. These tips to build a strong mind in children are presented in an easy to read, fun and practical way.
There they are: 40+ best children’s picture books about growth mindset. Which of these books have you read? Any favorites? Which ones did I miss?