Mindsets Read Alouds & Resources

Growth Mindset:

The Most Magnificent Thing

by Ashley Spires

A book about a girl who is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look and how it will work. But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, she gets really, really mad and quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

After the Fall

by George Santat

This poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he summon the courage to face his fear? This story reminds readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up..

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes

by Mark Pett

Beatrice Bottomwell has NEVER made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, the entire town calls her The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes! One day, the inevitable happens: Beatrice makes a huge mistake in front of everyone! But in the end, readers (and perfectionists) will realize that life is more fun when you enjoy everything-even the mistakes.

Flight School

by Lita Judge

A persevering penguin is determined to fly. Although he has the soul of an eagle, his body wasn’t built to soar. But Penguin has an irrepressible spirit, and he adamantly follows his dreams to flip, flap, fly! Even if he needs a little help with the technical parts, this penguin is ready to live on the wind.

I Can't Do That Yet

by Esther P. Cordova

Enna is a girl who doesn’t believe in herself and often utters the phrase “I can’t do that!” One night in a dream she sees all the possible future versions of herself, discovering that she can be any of those versions with time, knowledge and dedication. She develops a growth mindset throughout her journey and instead of saying “I can’t do that,” she learns to say “I can’t do that YET!”.

Thanks for the Feedback

by Julia Cook

This story follows RJ as he goes about his day doing the things he enjoys. But when a couple of friends give him compliments, he just isn’t sure how to respond! As RJ continues through the day, he hears from his teacher and parents that while there are many things he’s doing very well, there are, also, some things he needs to work on. His first reaction is to argue and make excuses. RJ learns what it means to receive positive and negative feedback and how to respond appropriately.

What Do You Do With An Idea?

by Kobi Yamada

What do you do with an idea? Especially an idea that’s different, or daring, or a little wild? This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. It’s a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it space to grow, and to see what happens next.

What Do You Do With A Problem?

by Kobi Yamada

This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer he avoids the problem, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different indeed.

The Thing Lou Couldn't Do

by Ashley Spires

With humour, Spires sensitively portrays Lou procrastinating, making excuses, imagining alternatives and denying she cares. Ultimately, Lou faces her fear, and although she fails, the effort empowers her, encouraging a growth mindset. All the while, Lou’s friends model compassionate friendship by offering to teach her how to climb and then moving the game. This book makes a perfect choice for a discussion about courage or resilience, or a life-skills lesson on facing challenges.

The Bad Seed

by Jory John

A funny yet touching tale that reminds us of the remarkably transformative power of will, acceptance, and just being you. Perfect for young readers, as well as anyone navigating their current world, The Bad Seed proves that positive change is possible for each and every one of us.

Beautiful Oops!

by Barney Salzberg

Every mistake can lead to a beautiful new adventure: That s the lovely life lesson behind this inspiring board book full of pop-ups, pull-the-flaps, and pretty amazing not to mention surprising feats of paper engineering.

Jabari Jumps

by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, so he’s not scared at all when it comes to jumping off the diving board. “Looks easy,” he says watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears.

The Dot

by Peter H. Reynolds

In this inspiring, story of self-expression and creativity, Vashti thinks she can’t draw. But her teacher is sure that she can. She knows that there’s creative spirit in everyone, and encourages Vashti to sign the angry dot she makes in frustration on a piece of paper. This act makes Vashti look at herself a little differently, and helps her discover that where there’s a dot there’s a way…

Ish

by Peter H. Reynolds

Drawing is what Ramon does, but in one split second, all that changes. A single reckless remark by Ramon’s older brother, Leon, turns Ramon’s carefree sketches into joyless struggles. Luckily for Ramon, though, his little sister, Marisol, sees the world differently. She opens his eyes to something a lot more valuable than getting things just “right.”

Brave Irene

by William Steig

Brave Irene is the dressmaker’s daughter. Her mother isn’t feeling so well and can’t possibly deliver the beautiful ball gown she’s made for the duchess to wear that very evening. So plucky Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that’s brewing– quite an errand for a little girl.

Everyone Can Learn To Ride A Bicycle

by Chris Raschka

Learning to ride a bike is one of the most important milestones of childhood. This picture book not only shows kids how to learn to ride, but captures what it feels like to fall . . . get up . . . fall again . . . and finally “by luck, grace, and determination” ride a bicycle!

Elephants Cannot Dance

by Mo Willems

Piggie tries to teach Gerald some new moves. But will Gerald teach Piggie something even more important?

Gratitude:

The Thankful Book

by Todd Parr

The Thankful Book celebrates all the little things children can give thanks for. From everyday activities like reading and bathtime to big family meals together and special alone time between parent and child, Todd inspires readers to remember all of life’s special moments.

Giving Thanks

by Jonathan London

How can a young boy ever show his gratitude for all the beauty he sees? He will learn from his father, who thanks the earth and the sky, the frogs and the crickets, the hawk and the deer, even the trees that wave their arms in the breeze.

A Chair for My Mother

by Vera B. Williams

After their home is destroyed by a fire, Rosa, her mother, and grandmother save their coins to buy a really comfortable chair for all to enjoy.

Those Shoes

by Maribeth Boelts

Jeremy wants “those shoes” that everyone at school seems to be wearing. His grandma says they don’t have room for “want,” just “need,”  but he finds a pair at a thrift-shop. They are too small and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.

The Grateful Book

by Angela Kohler

There is so much to be grateful for.  Using charming illustrations and simple text we learn to look at the world around us through the lens of gratitude. Every day experiences become something to be thankful for. The story inspires discussions that focus on gratitude as a practice, learning that we should not take the world around us for granted. Perfect for even small children, The Grateful Book simplifies the concept of gratitude and grounds it in tangible and universal experience, reminding us all that we have so much to be grateful for.

I Have the Right to Be a Child

by Alain Serres

A young narrator describes what it means to be a child with rights — from the right to food, water and shelter, to the right to go to school, to be free from violence, to breathe clean air, and more. The book emphasizes that these rights belong to every child on the planet, whether they are “black or white, small or big, rich or poor, born here or somewhere else.” 

Lily And The Paper Man

by Rebecca Upjohn

Lily runs into a gruff and untidy-looking man selling papers on the street. Lily is afraid of the man, but when the weather turns cold, she starts to see the Paper Man differently—she sees his bare toes through the holes in his boots and his thin shirt through the holes in his coat. As she lies in her cozy bed at night, she wonders how the Paper Man stays warm. Then Lily comes up with a wonderful idea – she’ll make him a gift of warm clothes.

Realistic Optimism:

What Do You Do With A Chance?

by Kobi Yamada

What do chances become? New friendships, exciting opportunities, and daring discoveries… What Do You Do With a Chance? is the story of a child who isn’t sure what to make of a chance encounter—then discovers that when you say yes to new experiences, amazing things can happen.

The Red Tree

by Shaun Tan

A story about the power of hope, renewal and inspiration. A little girl awakens feeling there is nothing to look forward to and walks through her day oblivious to the small glimmer of hope that was always with her until the tree shows her.

Rosie's Glasses

by Dave Whamond

In this wordless picture book, Rosie wakes up in a monochrome world, with a dark cloud over her head. As she plods through her miserable, gray day, the cloud follows. But then Rosie finds a pair of strange glasses. When she puts them on, her world transforms into vivid, joyful color. All of a sudden, she can see the beauty and fun in everything around her — and her dark cloud has disappeared. Are the glasses magic? Or could it be that changing how we look at the world can change the way we experience it?

The Branch

by Mireille Messier 

 When an ice storm snaps a small girl’s favorite branch from the tree in her yard, she’s crestfallen. The girl’s mom says it’s just a branch. But not to her! Luckily, her neighbor Mr. Frank understands. He says the branch has “potential.” That means it’s worth keeping. And so, with imagination and spirit, and Mr. Frank’s guidance and tools, the girl transforms the broken branch into something whole and new, giving it another purpose, and her another place to treasure.