Best Kids Books about Honesty & Trustworthiness

best picture books about honesty

Teaching children about honesty and trustworthiness involves more than just teaching them not to lie. These picture books present lessons on telling the whole truth, not deceiving or otherwise being dishonest, telling the truth with tact, and listening to your conscience. Picture books are a great way to help children experience the emotions that come with making honest choices, and make the connection between being honest and earning trust. The character education / social skills books listed are written for lower and upper elementary students. You may also find this definition of honesty for kids helpful for a lesson on trustworthiness.

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Books about honesty and trustworthiness for kids

Book for kids about honesty and telling the truth

Tell the Truth B.B. Wolf

Traits: honesty, taking responsibility for actions
Grade level: lower elementary, upper elementary
The Big Bad Wolf is a new wolf with new ways. But when he's asked to talk about his life, he has trouble telling the truth. The audience (of pigs and other fairy tale characters) calls him out on his lies, and BB Wolf learns about being honest with yourself and taking responsibility for your actions, while his audience learns about forgiveness.

Good picture book about honesty, conscience, and forgiveness

Be Proud

Traits: honesty, listening to conscience, forgiving mistakes
Grade level: lower elementary, upper elementary
"Oh no! I have a conscience!" When a boy sneaks off for a secret game on his gameplayer, a wise old tree steps into teach him about being honest in his actions and listening to his conscience. With emotional illustrations, kids learn to connect with the good feelings that come from making good choices. Also try the free printable lesson plan and reminder posters.

Beloved picture book about being honesty even when it's hard

The Empty Pot

Traits: honesty, courage
Grade level: lower elementary
A surprising story about a boy who has the courage to tell the Chinese emperor the truth, even when it's difficult. The outcome of the story reinforces the honor in being honest and doing the right thing. Readers rave about the stunning illustrations of traditional Chinese architecture and landscapes.

Be honest and tell the truth

Traits: honesty
Grade level: lower elementary
The Learning to Get Along Series is a staple in character education lessons. In this book, the characters learn the value of honesty, and are introduced to the idea that sometimes honesty requires courage and tact.




good character education picture book that teaches a lesson on honesty and telling the truth

The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot

Traits: honesty, consequences of lying and breaking trust
Grade level: lower elementary, upper elementary
These two books feature the classic Aesop's fable about the boy who cried wolf retold with modern twists. In this version of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", we see the usual scenario of a boy lying and losing the trust of the village. But in this version, the sheep are super amusing and the ending less gruesome. In "The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot", we get the same morality tale about lying and losing trust, but with a funny new character and plot twist.

A good picture book for social emotional learning lessons on telling the truth with tact

The Honest to Goodness Truth

Traits: honesty, respect, caring
Grade level: lower elementary
It's important to be honest, but it's also important to care for other's feelings. This story shows kids that there is a limit to how honest you should be. The story illustrates how using tact is sometimes more important than telling the "honest to goodness" truth.

Character Education book with range of short lessons on good traits

Character Building Day by Day

Traits: honesty, responsibility, respect, caring and more
Grade level: lower elementary, upper elementary
Very short stories that are meant to be read aloud and prompt discussion about good traits. Teachers and parents both comment that this book is very effective to get kids talking about their own experiences and to explore good character traits. Great way to include a little character education lesson in each day.

Social skills story for kids about honesty and lying for character education lessons

The Big Lie, a Katie Woo Story

Traits: honesty, conscience
Grade level: lower elementary
Katie wants her friend's toy and takes it without asking. Then she lies about it until her conscience drives her to confess. A simple story with lots of elements about honest actions, lying, and listening to your conscience. Bonus kudos- the Katie Woo series presents a multi-cultural set of friends.

Popular character education book about learning to be honest

Berenstain Bears and the Truth

Traits: honesty, taking responsibility
Grade level: lower elementary
From the popular Berenstain Bears book series, the two younger bears learn a lesson about telling the truth and taking responsibility for their actions.

A story about telling the truth, but doing it with caring

Being Frank

Traits: honesty, caring
Grade level: lower elementary
Frank is too, well, frank. He prides himself on how honest he is and never lies about anything. But Frank soon learns that you can be honest and be caring of other feelings at the same time. Great social skills lesson on tact.

Social emotional learning book for kids about honesty and lying

Lying up a storm

Traits: honesty, conscience
Grade level: lower elementary
Author Julia Cook adds another social emotional learning book to her vast collection with this tale about little fibs that add up to a big lie. The story connects bad actions with bad feelings as the boy's lies lead to a stormy conscience.

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