Heroes in Pages: 10 Resilience-Themed Storybooks for Kids

Foster a love of reading and inspire your child with these 10 bedtime stories that celebrate perseverance and positive psychology. We have compiled our best loved books that celebrate trying and never giving up. 

Resilience is the ability to deal with mistakes and life’s challenges.  It is the ability to deal with mistakes and life’s challenges. It is the ability to think with a growth mindset, reframe and put mistakes and challenges in perspective and keep trying. At Strength Heroes we believe is about bouncing forward not back.  Just think, to deal with a mistake and challenge you need to think and act differently. You have to be able to control your emotions, solve a problem, be brave and face the challenge or fix your mistake.  Once you have found a way to keep going despite your mistake or taken on a challenge you are never the same as you were before. You have developed new ways of thinking and have some new ways to persevere. 

Children who can control their emotions and keep trying despite being worried or nervous are developing their resilience skills to face whatever challenges comes their way. 

Role of Story Telling to develop resilience skills

At Strength Heroes, we use art and play to develop resilience skills. Through the experience of creating art, children are challenged to solve problems which can be quite difficult. For example, how to make a skin colour using only red, blue, yellow and white. 

We love story telling as another way to develop awareness of resilience and to role model resilience. Experiencing the journey of a fellow mistake maker as they struggle to solve a problem can trigger a child’s curiosity and even just understanding that everyone faces problems.  In our Mistake Maker program we always read a story called Dot and Dash which tells the story of Thomas Edison and how it took over 10000 mistakes for him to make a better light bulb. 

Stories, like our art workshops are also another way of reinforcing the resilience messages you tell your kids every day. In this blog, we have 10 kids books about overcoming challenges that have great messages for your kids but are fun too.  We have also included reflection questions or a talking point to start a conversation with your child about the messages in the story. 

Dot and Dash, Fiona Perrella, 

Ages 5-9

In this story, written but not published, by our Founder, Fiona, we enter the home of Thomas Edison through the eyes of his two children nicknamed Dot and Dash.  We watch the journey to a better light bulb as one of mis-takes, learning and what it means to have a growth mindset and perseverance in the face of failure.  You can watch this story by clicking on the picture of the cover. 

Ask your child: How do you think Dad felt when everyone told him to give up and he kept making mistakes? 

The Dot, Peter H. Reynolds,   Ages 4-9.

In this story, Vashmi believes she can’t draw.  Her teacher cleverly inspires her to “make her mark” and the journey begins. 

We find in our kid’s art classes that many children believe “they can’t draw” or they are not creative. The problem is that it is very hard for a child to keep trying something if they don’t have the belief they can do it.  That is because what we believe leads to what we do. If we believe we can keep trying and through practice learn, if we don’t, we won’t. This book is a great example of reframing a belief and using a growth mindset to try. Click here to read more about helping your child keep trying.

Talking point:  Share a time when you have learnt something new.  What happened? How did you feel? What went wrong, what went right? What did you learn? 

Rosie Reviere the Engineer, Andrea Beatty. Ages 4-8.

Rosie is an inventor and comes from a long line of adventurers.  However, a fear of failure stops her showing anyone her inventions. We love this book because it demonstrates that great quote: “FAIL is First Attempt in Learning”

We see lots of children in our workshops who are often paralysed by the thought of making a mistake. Some cannot bear seeing their mistakes and want to rub it out with an eraser or get a new canvas or piece of paper.  This book is a great example of how practice makes progress and it is normal to make mistakes. 

Reflection question:  How do you feel when you make a mistake? How do you keep trying?

All Birds have Anxiety, Kathy Hoopmann, Ages 6+

This delightful picture book has simple, easy to understand information about anxiety along with some very funny pictures of birds like you have never seen them before. We love it because anxiety is explains the things we do when we are anxious and really simple stuff you can do and think. It gives some good examples of growth mindset self-talk. 

Talking point:  Let children know when you have felt like the birds in the book. 

Don’t Worry Little Crab, Chris Haughton, Ages 1-5

This is the story about Big Crab and Little Crab and what happens when they get to the Very Big Edge and face the sea.  It is a simple yet powerful book about stepping outside your comfort zone, facing your fears and being brave. 

Question:  Can you tell me a time when you did something that scared or worried you and it was okay?  If they can’t think of anything, you could share a time you saw them do this or your experience. 

The Worrysaurus, Rachel Bright,

Ages 4-6

Worrysauraus has planned the best day and set off to find adventure but suddenly he thought of all the things that could go wrong and he found himself too worried to go on…. Can he chase his fears away?

We love this book because of the simple way it shows how worries can overwhelm your brain. It also gives some great strategies for young children to use to control their emotions to persevere in the face of difficulty. 

Talking point:  When I get big worries I calm myself down by ……..

What do you do with a Problem?, Kobi Yamada, Ages 5-8

This is the story of a child with a problem that won’t go away.  It’s also a great lesson about all the ways we avoid our problems, the worries they cause and the lengths we go to ignore them.  It’s also about how when we face our problem that its not always what we thought. 

We love this book because of its simple truth and wisdom. It is a great demonstration of emotional intelligence and how to reframe problems as opportunities. 

Ask your child:  When did you face a problem that worried you?  What happened? 

The Problem with Problems, Rachel Rooney, Ages 3-7.

This picture book simply shares what problems are and where you’ll find them and how they are easy to tame!  It is a great story filled with ways to deal with problems.  Our Calm Corner Kit is designed to develop children’s emotional regulation. It has our Wizzy Dizzy for your child to learn that feelings pass and allows your child to name their emotion. 

This is a great picture book for young kids to start conversations about emotions and problems.

Talking point:  When I have a problem, I feel…

I feel my problem in my body…(explain where: e.g. tummy, headache….)

All the Ways to be Smart, Davina Bell, Ages 3-7

At the foundation of a resilient child is a child who has a positive self-image.  They know their strengths and all the ways they are unique. This is a wonderful picture book with the message that there are many ways to be smart.  We love it because it has messages of being yourself, finding courage and being curious. 

Talking point:  I think you are smart in these ways….

Bob The Artist, Ages 3-5

Bod is a bird and Bob loves his legs.  However, all the other birds think his legs are weird, too skinny and puny! Explore the creative way Bob tries to change his legs and what he learns about himself along the way. 

Reflection question:  What part of your body helps you do all the things you love doing or playing? 

Just like art, books are a wonderful way to develop your children’s social emotional learning including growth mindset, problem solving and perseverance. Reading them at quiet times like bedtime stories creates a space for children to open up about their feelings.  We would love to hear your favourite inspirational stories for kids.  Head over to our Facebook post to add your favourite book. 


So we can notify you about our upcoming workshops and tips on the art of developing resilient children.