Growing up is hard and sometimes it is hard to find characters in the media that our young ones can look up to. It is never too early to teach our children about positive lifestyle choices, and what better way to begin teaching than with picture books from the library!
Here you will find a list of my favorite children’s books that promote positive role models and messages that every kid can relate to.
Tek the Modern Cave Boy by Patrick McDonnell
Tek is a young boy who loves his tablet, phone, game box, and all things technology. (The book even resembles a device where you have to “input a password” before starting the book.) Tek refuses to go outside and play and his family and friends are worried. When a volcano erupts, Tek is forced to leave his cave and realizes all of the amazing things the world has to offer without screens.
Although Tek may not be the best role model in the beginning, this book shows a change in a character that could promote change in our children as well. This is a great read for all children, but especially ones who may have similar tendencies as Tek.
Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs
Mixed Up Mike is a young boy who has parents of different colors. He loves his parents and himself and answers questions like “why don’t your parents match?” with certainty and confidence. My favorite line that Mixed Up Mike says is “I’m doing my thing, so don’t forget it. If you don’t get it, then you don’t get it.” Love it! Mike is a true role model to every child and the simple text and beautiful pictures make it a great read for all ages.
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller
The title explains it all in this book — however, sometimes it is not so easy. The main character goes through the different ways you can be kind. You may be too small to do a big chore, too frustrated to teach a younger sibling, or too scared to stand up for someone, but you can still do something to be kind in all of those situations. The main character shows that small ways of being kind can lead to bigger positive changes that the whole world may be able to experience!
The Dark by Lemony Snicket
In true Lemony Snicket form, this book is a little creepy. Laszlo is a little boy who is afraid of the dark. He is nice to the dark and greets it when he sees it, but doesn’t like it when the dark visits him. One night the dark enters Laszlo’s room and tells him to go with him in the basement (cue the creepy feelings). But the dark turns out to be looking out for Laszlo and the book has a nice ending. Many children can relate to Laszlo with this fear, but can also look up to him as he faced his fear and realized that maybe the dark isn’t so bad after all.
One by Kathryn Otoshi
This is a marvelous book about taking a stand against a bully. Blue is a character in this book who is simply a circle of blue. There are other colors in the book, too, including red. Red is not nice to the other colors, and they are all afraid of him. Then One shows up who is grey and not a circle, but in the shape of a number one. One is confident and helps the other colors to feel confident as well. This is an excellent book to show children that it is okay to stand up for yourself and to be a nice friend!
There are so many books at the Bucks County Free Library that can provide children with characters that encourage traits we hope all of our children can achieve — check these books out and tell us what you think!
What are some other books you love that have positive role models for young readers?
— Recommended by Elizabeth D., Programming Assistant