10 Awesome Self-Esteem Books for Kids to Nurture Confidence

Did you know that reading self-esteem books for kids can help them to be more confident?

As a kid, I was bullied for being overweight. I got teased “Gemuk / fat” and “bulldozer.” True story.

It sucked being overweight. But in retrospect, I think I managed to overcome that period of my life pretty well.

I decided to lose weight because I wanted to be active in sports; I wanted to be the school representative in netball which I ended up being.

But it took years for me to restore my self-esteem.

self-esteem books for kids
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Why must parents nurture self-esteem in children?

Raising children with high self-esteem is important because how they see themselves will determine how they are likely to overcome obstacles.

I was very fortunate to have parents who really emphasized nurturing self-esteem ever since we were young.

They taught us to be resilient by giving us the right support we needed to thrive.

So where does self-esteem come from?

According to the Child Development Center of Northern Illinois State:

“Self-esteem comes from learning to accept who we are by seeing the insufficiencies and still choosing to like ourselves. Every child’s self-esteem grows with each experience of successful interactions through positive words.

It is important to build a child’s belief that they can handle their life and handle it well. Liking ourselves and feeling capable are the foundations on which emotional health rests.”

They also list out 5 ways parents and teachers can help no nurture a child’s self-esteem:

  • Validate your child’s feelings and thoughts
  • Create an environment that will help your child experience success. Set expectations that are clear and appropriate, and offer resources to help him or her
  • Give your child some room for autonomy
  • Make your child believe he/she is loved and is capable
  • Show your child how you love yourself

How do you teach self-esteem to kids?

self-esteem books for kids
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A study on parenting style and children’s self-esteem indicates that young adults who reported having parents who are warm and nurturing reported having higher self-esteem.

Therefore, as Sherie Newman—a teacher at the Child Development Family Center suggests, it is very important for parents to:

  • Accept that each child is unique
  • Have realistic expectations of them
  • Give room for your children to make mistakes
  • Provide an environment that encourages success
  • Encourage them to explore
  • Accept your children’s difficult emotions and teach them how to manage them
  • Give them responsibility and room for them to cooperate
  • Give them choices when making a decision

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Fun Self-Esteem Books For Kids be Nurture Confidence

As parents, reading self-esteem books to kids is also a great way to teach them about self-belief. Sometimes when we just try to explain it to them, they may not understand it very well. But reading picture books to and with them might be more effective.

Here is a list of amazing self-esteem books for kids:


This book is one of my favourite books that I enjoy reading to my kids.

Who wrote it?

The book Let It Go is written by Naimah Robert and Mufti Menk.

What is the book about?

This book is a really nice book that teaches young children about not keeping grudges or negative emotions in themselves for too long. The reason is because it will hurt us eventually and make our hearts feel heavy.

How does it help with self-esteem?

This self-esteem book for kids teaches them about controlling one’s thoughts and emotions in a very subtle way. By controlling your emotions and your heart, you are able to perceive the world and yourself a little better.


the seed of doubt book

Who wrote this book?

Written by Irena Brignull and illustrated by Richard Jones

What is it about?

“A little boy dreams of a world beyond the farm where he lives – a world full of mountain ranges, oceans and cities, where he could do anything. But one day he plants a seed from which doubts start to grow. Instead of thinking of all that he could do, he thinks more of what he could not. Can he overcome his fears and chase his dreams?”

This is a beautiful book that teaches young kids about self-belief. This story is about a little boy who has big dreams but as he matures, he keeps those dreams at the back of his mind. He tells his father about his dream every night and his father helps encourages him to overcome his self-doubt.


colourblind boy book

Who wrote this book?

Mohammed Yaseen

What is this book about?

“The boy at the back of the classroom was the only one not staring at Abdullah. Who was he, Abdullah thought to himself? Abdullah knew that the boy had some sort of secret that made him different from the others, something that made him stand out. But what was it?”

The author addresses issues of racism and bullying in a delicate manner for young readers. The author highlights how someone’s “differentness” should not be judged negatively and how being different can be hard for young kids, especially at school.


Who wrote the book?

This book is written by M.O Yuksel.

What is the book about?

The book is about the inspiring figure Fatimah al-Fihri, the first Muslim woman to establish one of the oldest universities.

It may not be a book that focuses on just self-confidence but it emphasizes her thirst for knowledge. When she was younger, she wanted to know everything. Islam also inspired her to create a university where anyone can come and learn and be anyone they want to be.

That takes courage and the confidence to dream!


the day you begin by jacqueline woodson
My daughter and the book The Day You Begin

Who wrote the book?

The book is written by Jacqueline Woodson

What is the book about?

This is probably one of my favourite children’s books on self-confidence. The Day You Begin focuses on how sometimes, everyone will feel different for whatever reason. It could be due to the colour of their skin, the food they bring for lunch at school, their hair, or even how they speak.

This book is so beautifully written! I really like how the author emphasizes how it’s okay for us to feel different but then eventually eases us into feeling more hopeful. The overall message is: being unique may need time to get used to but there’s beauty within it.


Who wrote the book?

This book is written by Lupita Nyong’o, the Kenyan actress who won an academy award for 12 Years a Slave in 2013.

What I liked most about this book is that the author doesn’t try to sugarcoat what being black in the black community feels like.

What is this book about?

It’s a story about two sisters and the difficulties that Sulwe experiences as a child just for being dark. This story will definitely resonate with others because we often get compared to the people whom we are close to—whether they are our sisters or good friends.

It was an interesting story because when you think of being brown or dark-skinned, you normally think about skin as dark vs fair. But even among people of darker skin tones, there are instances where the one has the darkest complexion gets ridiculed.

It’s definitely a must-read for young children because it teaches us about what true beauty is and the importance of self-acceptance.


the proudest blue book

Who wrote the book?

My next favourite one is The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad.

What is this book about?

The story centres around two Muslim sisters.  Asiya, the older sister wears a blue hijab on her first day of school. Her younger sister, Faiza observes her challenges and how she handles them.

Despite the difficulties Asiya may sometime face, the story highlights how she is proud of wearing the hijab. This story helps to instill confidence in Muslim girls who want to wear the hijab.

The book might not be only about skin colour but it highlights on one’s “differentness” based on religious identity.


Who wrote the book?

The book Elephants Cannot Dance is written by Mo Willems.

What is the book about?

The message of this book is really uplifting, especially for young children.

Gerald, the elephant wants to dance but believes he cannot because it is written in the book “Things Elephants Cannot Do.”

Piggie read the book. Being her optimistic self, she said that it did not state that elephants should not TRY to dance.

So Gerald tries to dance but it did not go as smoothly as planned. Feeling a little disappointed, he stopped for a while. But Piggie encourages him to try again – and they did.

This book is really great for children as it teaches about trying and not giving up, even though people think or say we should not do it.


i will be fierce book

Who wrote the book?

The book entitled I Will Be Fierce is written by Cailin McCarthy Garfunkel. She goes by the pseudonym Bea Birdsong.

What is it about?

This book is really cute. It reminds me of my children – they are both fierce in exploring the simple things in everyday life.

It teaches young kids to be courageous and adventurous every day. It changes the way we look at the world starting from the moment we wake up. It teaches kids to be confident with themselves and encourages them to be brave my going out of their comfort zone.


i talk like the river book

What is the book about?

This is a self-esteem book for kids because it beautifully tells the story of a boy who stutters.

He talks about how it’s difficult for him to talk sometimes and how that makes him feel isolated. One day, his father explains that how he talks is like the river. On some days it may be smooth while on some days he might have some trouble at it but that’s okay. In the end, the message will come across, just like the river.

This book definitely reminds me of myself when I was growing up.

When I was younger, I had a really hard time talking to people and naturally, I found it challenging to talk in front of large crowds. This book can definitely help young readers to feel like they are not alone and gain self-confidence by seeing their challenge more as a unique quality.

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About Me

Sofiya Wan Mohd Nor

A full time mom, a freelance proofreader and a PhD student specializing in Educational Psychology.

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