Picture Books About Honesty

Teach young kiddos the virtue of honesty with these quality honesty picture books.

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Picture Books About Honesty, Lying, and Telling the Truth

Literature can bring stories to life, and character is no exception. Stories offer a concrete example for abstract words like “honesty” and “courage.” Here are some of my favorite picture books about honesty, from preschool to late elementary students.

The Empty Pot by Demi

Long, long ago, a boy named Ping lived in China. He loves flowers, and has a talent for being able to grow nearly anything he planted. The emperor loved flowers too. In search of an heir, he gives each student a flower seed, and gives each student a year to grow a beautiful flower.
Unfortunately, everyone’s flowers seem to be growing beautifully, except for Ping’s flower. To his embarrassment, he must go before the emperor with an empty pot. The ending may surprise you, and the lesson is appropriate for young kids and adults alike.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf by B. G. Hennessy

Inspired by the fable, a bored young shepherd tries to stir up some trouble – by making up a story about a wolf who tried to attack his sheep! It’s a simple story that makes the saying “cried wolf” come alive for younger kids.

Betty Bunny Didn’t Do It by Michael Kaplan

Aimed at preschoolers, Betty Bunny is a fun-loving rabbit, in the spirit of Olivia, Eloise, and Ramona. Betty breaks a lamp and lies about it, although her lie eventually comes out. But, when another lamp breaks and Betty Bunny didn’t do it, no one believes her! The ending opens up discussion as it talks about telling the truth versus hurting people’s feelings.

Franklin Fibs by Paulette Bourgeois

Franklin the turtle can do many things. One day he tells all of his friends that he could swallow 76 flies in the blink of an eye, which was a fib. Through his fib, he learns the importance of telling the truth.

Ruthie and the Not So Teeny Tiny Lie by Laura Rankin

Ruthie loves teeny, tiny things! One day, she finds a tiny camera in the park. She wants to keep it, even though she knows it is not hers. What will she do?

Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big by Berkeley Breathed

Edward Fudwupper loves telling big fibs. One day, a lie he tells becomes so big that the army, air force, and dogcatcher get involved!

Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Monkey on His Back: A Tale About Telling the Truth by Henry Binkow

Made for preschool and early elementary students, this book is filled with fun pictures and further discussion questions.

It’s True by Mercer Mayer

It’s easier for Little Critter to tell a partial truth rather than the full truth. In this simple picture book, he learns the importance of telling the full truth!

I Did It, I’m Sorry! by Caralyn Buehner

A new story on each page, I Did It, I’m Sorry offers several stories on honesty and doing the right thing. After presenting kids with a scenario, it gives them a multi-choice question (A, B, or C) asking them what the right thing to do is. Hidden in the illustration is the correct answer’s letter. Some of the stories wouldn’t apply to really young children, so I’d recommend this for kids 6-10.

Being Frank by Donna W. Earnhardt

Frank lives by the motto, “Honesty is the best policy.” In this picture book, he learns the importance of balancing tact and honesty with lessons from his grandpa.

What are your favorite honesty picture books?

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