14 Best Kids Books About Lying Update 05/2022

I love books that teach moral lessons without being too moralistic or annoyingly didactic. I’ve put together a few picture books about lying and telling the truth to help you talk about honesty with your kids.

These picture books talk about a lot of things about honesty that kids will think about, like how lies can spread out of control, how to build honest relationships with other people, and how guilt can only be relieved by being honest. Many of the books on this list can help older kids learn about lying and telling the truth, too. Whether you want a “message” book or not, these picture books are just fun to read! If you click on the book cover or title, you will be taken to an affiliate link.

The Lying King by Alex Beard.

WOW. This picture book about a ruler who lies and lies and lies is very relevant right now. Telling a story in clever rhymes, it shows how lies spread and end up trapping the person who made them. Let’s hope the lying warthog’s fate is a sign of things to come. This is also a good story to tell your kids and use as a way to talk about the value of telling the truth.

Betty Bunny Didn’t Do It by Michael Kaplan, illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch.

Tooth Fairy! Betty Bunny breaks a lamp. She blames the Tooth Fairy for it! As a result, Betty Bunny now thinks that blaming her mistakes on other people is a great idea. Why didn’t she think of this before? When her mother asks her about it, she says she told a “honest lie.” It’s only when someone breaks a vase that Betty learns a valuable lesson. She gets blamed even though she didn’t break the vase.

The Empty Pot by Demi.

If you want to teach kids about honesty and integrity, this book is a good one. It’s Ping’s favorite thing to do in the garden. He grows the most beautiful plants and flowers there. An old emperor who doesn’t have any children says that the child who grows the best flower will be the next emperor. After a year, Ping is sad because his seed hasn’t grown. He takes his empty pot to the Emperor, who tells him the truth about the pot that is empty. This is a good book for kids of all ages, even if they are older.

The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot by Scott Magoon.

“The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is one of the most well-known truth morality tales. This is a fun twist on the story, though. The narrator is Bigfoot, and he talks about how tenacious Ben is and how he doesn’t trust people when he lies about a Bigfoot sighting. In the end, Ben has to come up with another way to show that he is telling the truth now that Bigfoot is real.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith

A very funny, broken-up fairy tale told by the wolf, who says that he’s not the bad guy. In his defense, he says that he isn’t to blame for what happened to the pigs because he has allergies. There are very few picture books for kids where the narrator isn’t trustworthy. It’s a good idea to read this book with an older child, who will be able to see the irony that a three-year-old won’t see.

A Day’s Work by Eve Bunting.

Mexican-American Francisco helps his grandfather look for a job, and he wants to do the same for him. His grandfather has just moved and doesn’t speak English. Francisco tells a lie about his grandfather’s gardening skills in order to get him some work. In the end, Francisco learns a valuable lesson about honesty from his grandfather. Bunting’s book is a good one to read aloud to older kids because it talks a lot about character, honesty, and making the right decisions.

Harriet and the Garden by Nancy Carlson.

It turns out that Harriet accidentally trampled Mrs. Hoozit’s prize flowers during a game of baseball. She is afraid to tell the truth at first, so she runs away. She feels guilty and upset. When she finally comes clean, she learns a good lesson in life.

The Honest to Goodness Truth by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Giselle Potter.

This book is the one I think I like the best. I found a lot of books that said “brutal honesty is not always the best policy.” Her mother found out that she had been lying. Libby decided to only tell the truth from now on. But Libby’s honesty makes people feel hurt and makes her friends leave her. When someone does the same to her, Libby realizes that she made a mistake and apologies to her friends, which makes her feel bad. A great book about how to be honest without hurting other people.

The Golden Plate by Bernadette Watts.

Isobel likes to play with her friend Elisabeth’s dollhouse a lot. One day, she steals a small golden plate from the house. So she isn’t happy, and she tells her mother. As a whole, I think I like the way the story shows how good Isobel feels when she finally tells the truth.

The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton. 

This fairy tale about a pompous emperor and his comeuppance is always fun, but it will also make kids think about how their own behavior might make other people want to tell the truth.

Tricky by Kari Rust. 

Duke and Tricky lie, cheat, steal, and play pranks on people. Their dog, Tricky, does the same. All the people in town don’t like them. She moves to town and doesn’t know about Duke and Tricky, so when she gives Tricky a treat, his heart starts to grow. Soon, Duke and Tricky realize that they were being dishonest.

A Bike Like Sergio’s by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by‎ Noah Z. Jones. 

All his friends have bikes, but Ruben’s family doesn’t have a lot of money. A dollar bill looks like this to him. He found a hundred-dollar bill. Ruben has a hard time being honest, but in the end, he decides to do the right thing.

Princess K.I.M and the Lie That Grewby Maryann Cocca-Leffler. 

Princess Kim has two books. Kim learns about integrity and how giving too many honest opinions can be bad. In the first book, Princess Kim and Too Much Truth, Kim learns about these things. This is what Kim learns in the next book. Telling a lie can quickly get someone in trouble.

Divali Rose by Vashanti Rahaman, illustrated by Jamel Akib. 

Ricki lives in Trinidad, and he can’t wait for the Hindu festival of lights, Divali, to start. It turns out that he accidentally cut off one of his grandfather’s beautiful roses. He is afraid of admitting that he did something wrong. This is what his grandfather says: The new, foreign neighbors are to blame for it. If you want to talk about honesty, but also misplaced blame and jumping to conclusions that aren’t true, this is a good book to read.

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