Books

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Kids can be quick to quit when the going gets tough, but these books teach them that great things come from sticking with it and pushing through.

By Emily McDonald

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

The Little Engine That Could

Written by Watty Piper and illustrated by George and Doris Hauman, Penguin Young Readers Group (Ages 3-5)

When a train breaks down on its way to deliver toys to little children, a little blue train comes along to save the day. Although the blue train is small and has never been over the mountain before, he repeats the phrase, “I think I can” over and over until all the toys are brought to the children of the village. $8, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

The Most Magnificent Thing

Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires, Kids Can Press (Ages 3-7)

On a mission to create the most magnificent thing, a little girl tries and fails over and over again. She’s almost ready to give up entirely when her trusty sidekick suggests she take a walk. When she comes back, she is full of determination and ends up creating her perfect magnificent thing. $17, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Flight School

Written and illustrated by Lita Judge, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Ages 0-5)

Not being built to fly won’t stop this determined penguin from doing all he can to tap into his “soul of an eagle” and make his flying dreams come true. $22, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Manjhi Moves a Mountain

Written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by Danny Popovici, Creston Books (Ages 5-7)

A mountain separates Manjhi’s poor village from another, more prosperous village. Determined to connect the two villages, Manjhi spends 22 years digging a path through the mountain. Many doubted him along the way, but Manjhi never gave up and eventually he was able to move the mountain. $20, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Excellence

Written by Deloris Jordan and illustrated by Barry Root, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (Ages 4-8)

Written by his mother, this book tells the story of a young Michael Jordan and his dreams of one day playing basketball at the Olympics. Michael put in years of work, proving he wasn’t “just a dreamer, but a doer” and in 1984, became an Olympic gold medalist. $10, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

When I Was Eight

Written by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokak-Fenton and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard, Annick Press (Ages 6-9)

Determined to learn how to read, Olemaun leaves her home in the Arctic to go to the outsiders’ school. There, they cut off her hair, call her Margaret and force her to do chores. Despite these hardships, Olemaun does all she can to reach her goal of learning to read. $10, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Can I Play Too?

Written and illustrated by Mo Willems, Hyperion Books for Children (Ages 3-5)

When a snake asks to join Piggie and Gerald’s game of catch, the friends aren’t sure how they can play catch with someone who has no arms. Eager to let the snake join their game, they try different things until they find a version of catch that works for everyone. $13, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

A Chair for My Mother

Written and illustrated by Vera B. Williams, HarperCollins (Ages 3-7)

After their house burns in a fire, Rosa, her mother and her grandmother save all their spare change to buy a big beautiful chair. After a year of saving and lots of hard work, they were able to save enough to buy the chair they’d been dreaming of. $10, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do

Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires, Kids Can Press (Ages 3-7)

Lou is an ambitious and brave little girl, but she doesn’t know how to climb. When all her friends decide to climb a big tree, Lou comes up with a list of excuses as to why she shouldn’t join them. Eventually, she decides to try and falls. She’ll be back tomorrow though to try again! $19, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Ruby’s Wish

Written by Shirin Yim Bridges and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Chronicle Books (Ages 4-8)

Ruby’s one dream is to attend university like the boys in her family. Despite this going against Chinese tradition, Ruby works hard and sends in her application. Can she become the first girl to be accepted? $12, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Giraffes Can’t Dance

Giraffes Can’t Dance Written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees, Scholastic Inc. (Ages 1-4)

At the annual Jungle Dance, all the animals make fun of Gerald for not being able to dance. As he leaves the event sad and defeated, he runs into an unlikely friend who encourages him to dance to his own music. Before he knows it, all the other animals are begging Gerald to teach them his moves. $12, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

How to Catch a Star

Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, HarperCollins (Ages 3-7)

A little boy who loves stars very much wants nothing more than to catch one. He tries many different plans, but none of them seem to work. Just as he is getting ready to give up, a different type of star washes up on the beach, and the little boy is finally able to fulfill his dream. $13, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

Written by Margot Lee Shetterly and Winifred Conkling and illustrated by Laura Freeman, HarperCollins (Ages 8-12)

This book tells the true story of four African American women who worked at NASA despite the race and gender obstacles that were in their way. $22. indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream

Written by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Floyd Cooper, Penguin Young Readers Group (Ages 5-8)

The story of Janet Collins, the first African-American prima ballerina, has inspired many young ballerinas that they too can reach their dreams. This is the story of one of the many young girls she inspired and how hard she worked to become a ballerina. $24, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Same & Dave Dig a Hole

Written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, Candlewick Press (Ages 4-10)

Sam and Dave are on a mission to dig a hole until they find something spectacular. They dig and dig and dig but still find nothing. In the end, their day ends up being spectacular after all. $24, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)

Written and illustrated by Dan Santat, Roaring Brook Press (Ages 5-8)

Everyone knows the story about Humpty Dumpty and his fall from the wall. This book tells the story of how Humpty got back up after the fall and faced his fear of heights. $25, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Whistle For Willie

Written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, Penguin Young Readers Group (Ages 0-3)

All Willie wants is to be able to whistle for his dog and he doesn’t give up until he is able to. $11, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Ish

Written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, Candlewick Press (Ages 5-8)

Ramon loves to draw, but when his older brother makes a rude comment about his art, Ramon feels like his drawing will never be good enough. His little sister, Marisol, encourages him to see his art in a different way and he falls in love with drawing again. $20, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Written by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls, Random House Children’s Books (Ages 4-8)

Born in Ghana with just one leg, Emmanuel had the odds stacked against him. He was determined, however, to change the way people in his country viewed people with disabilities. So, he biked across the whole country to show that, just like anyone else, he could do anything he set his mind to. $21, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

The Dreamer

Written and illustrated by Il Sung Na, Chronicle Books (Ages 3-5)

Pigs are not meant to fly, but that won’t stop this one from trying! This pig takes his love of watching birds and turns his dreams into a reality through dedication and perseverance. $24, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History

Written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, Penguin Young Readers Group (Ages 4-8)

This book shares the stories of 13 women around the world who have overcome obstacles to pursue their dreams in various fields such as the arts, sports, sciences and activism. $22, indigo.ca

21 books to help teach your kids perseverance

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