10 Best Growth Mindset Books For Kids Update 05/2022

In what kind of books does it help kids learn how to deal with problems? Ellen Galinsky, the best-selling author of Mind in the Making, says that things that help people have a growth mindset are the ones that work best. They can help kids who learn and think differently feel like they can grow and thrive by reading these 11 books chosen by Galinsky for the nonprofit First Book.

My Truck Is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk

Ideal for: Preschoolers and younger

The two dogs are driving a dump truck full of bones when they get stuck in a hole. In pictures and rhymes, they look for ways to get out of a tight spot.

Make sure to point out: When you need help, you can ask for it! Then, help your child think about times when someone else helped him figure out how to do something that was hard for him.

Llama Llama Red Pajama, by Anna Dewdney

Ideal for: Preschoolers and younger

In this bedtime story, Baby Llama gets more and more angry about not having his mother with him when he goes to sleep at night. She tells him a very important thing: “Mama Llama is always there, even if she isn’t right here.”

Consider mentioning that: When Baby Llama is sad and lonely, he snuggles with his comfort toy to help him feel less alone. Let him think about what he does to feel better when he’s afraid or sad.

Owen, by Kevin Henkes

Ideal for: Preschoolers and younger

Always Owen and Fuzzy are together. She says Owen is getting too old for Fuzzy. I don’t know. Owen and his mother make Fuzzy into handkerchiefs that Owen can carry with him at all times.

Consider saying: People sometimes come up with ideas that others find hard to follow. Mrs. Tweezers told Owen that he was getting too old for Fuzzy. Talk about how Owen felt when she said this. It is important to point out how Owen and his mom use their imagination to come up with a solution that works for him.

The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper

Ideal for: Preschoolers and younger

I think I can, the Little Engine says. People don’t believe she can do it for the first time. That’s not true, though. The Little Engine thinks she can, and she does! It helped the Little Engine just to think that she could pull the cars. What should you do if your child is having a hard time?

Brontorina, by James Howe

Ideal for: Preschoolers and younger

He wants to dance. This is what Brontorina, the dinosaur, wants to be. Then, in dance class, there isn’t enough space for her to move. Everyone makes fun of her. Still, she gets her teacher to help. After a while, Brontorina finally finds a place to dance that fits her size. She also makes new friends in the process.

Brontorina, despite what others say, isn’t afraid to keep her dream alive. A dancer is what she is inside. Keep in mind a time when your child overcame an obstacle to do something that was important to him so he could do it.

Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems

Ideal for: Preschoolers and early grade-schoolers

She lost her favorite stuffed bunny on a trip to the laundromat. But Trixie can’t talk, so she has to come up with a way to tell her dad what happened without saying a single word to him.

Try to point out that Trixie has a lot of different ways to get her dad’s attention. Tuck into how Trixie might feel when she tries to explain something to her dad and he doesn’t get it. Ask your child if he’s ever had a hard time getting someone to understand what he said. Talk about how that made him feel and how he could do it better the next time.

Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss

Ideal for: Preschoolers and early grade-schoolers

It sounds like a cry is coming from a piece of dust. A small town of people who need help is in it. People don’t believe Horton. He doesn’t give up on his goal. People are people, no matter how small they are. That’s what he works hard to show.

Horton is made fun of because of what he thinks. Talk about what it would be like for Horton to have to deal with that. Ask your child if he has ever felt like that. He should talk about what he can learn from Horton, such as how to be respectful, kind, and keep your goals in mind.

The Empty Pot, by Demi

Ideal for: Preschoolers and early grade-schoolers

Ping is very excited. Each child gets to plant a royal seed, and the child with the best flower will become Emperor. Cares for his seeds, but they don’t grow. Still, Ping stands out because he works so hard to grow his seed, even though he doesn’t have a pot.

When Ping’s father says that, “You did your best, and your best is good enough to show the Emperor.” Ask your child if there was a time when he wished he had worked more hard. After that, talk about how he felt. Then, talk about a time when he tried his best and how it felt.

Jingle Dancer, by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Ideal for: Preschoolers and early grade-schoolers

There is going to be a powwow next, and Jenna wants to dance. She doesn’t have enough tin jingles on her dress to make noise. Using jingles from other people, Jenna says thank you to the women who have helped her, too.

Jenna’s culture helps her come up with a solution that works for everyone. She takes enough jingles for her dress, but she also makes sure the other women can be heard. Talk about how Jenna gives back to the women, and how that helps them. Then think of ways your child can say thank you to the people who help him.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O’Brien

Ideal for: Middle-schoolers and older grade-schoolers

It’s hard for Mrs. Frisby to care for her sick son alone. She gets it from a group of clever lab rats. Together, they have fun. Their journey to safety is scary, but it’s fun to watch! Mrs. Frisby does a lot of brave things to save her family. You can talk to your child about when he felt brave and why.

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