Best Kids Books about Respect

best picture books about respect

How do you teach kids about respect? Books and stories are a great way to teach kids the meaning of respect for others and how to respect yourself. We've gathered this list of books for lower and upper elementary students to help teachers and parents with lessons about accepting differences, speaking to others respectfully, and being proud of who you are. These books are a great starting point for social skills activities and character education lessons. You may also find this definition of respect for kids helpful and these respect worksheets.

More "Best of" Character Education Resources

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Books about respect for kids

Social Emotional learning story about treating others with respect

My Mouth is a Volcano

Traits: respect for others, self control, empathy
Grade level: lower elementary
This story about a child who interrupts is a good way to teach children about the value of respecting others by listening and waiting for an appropriate time to speak. Teachers find it useful to teach their students the catchword, "volcano", to remind them to wait and be respectful. Also try the accompanying Activity Guide.

book for teaching social skills about respect and following rules

Know and Follow the Rules

Traits: respect for self and others, self control
Grade level: lower elementary
We've included this book on the "respect" list because following rules is essentially about respect. We define respect as caring enough about yourself and others to think about people's feelings before you act. Many rules are about keeping ourselves or others healthy and well. So this is a good launching point for young children to build a healthy respect for, well, respect.

picture book that teaches kids about respect and caring

Be Bigger

Traits: respect for others, caring, friendship, perseverance, conflict resolution
Grade level: lower elementary, upper elementary
When feelings get hurt, it can be hard to treat friends with respect. This emotional tale helps children learn to deal with friendship troubles in a respectful way, and to do the right thing, even when it's hard. Addresses relational aggression, also known as bullying between friends. Try the free lesson plan for a complete character education lesson on respect and friendship.

character education book that teaches kids to respect belongings

Respect and take care of things

Traits: respect
Grade level: lower elementary
A staple in character education lessons, this book teaches a straightforward lesson in treating things with respect.

award winning book on treating others as you would like to be treated

Do Unto Otters

Traits: respect for others, manners
Grade level: lower elementary, upper elementary
This book of the year award-winner presents respect and manners in a fun way. It takes on the essential respect lesson- to treat others as you would like to be treated. Great for teaching social skills.

character education picture book teaching respect for others

What if?

Traits: respect for self and others, responsibility, self-control
Grade level: lower elementary, upper elementary
"Ask yourself what if? If you'll hurt yourself, hurt someone else, or make your momma mad, change your action." A pair of siblings learn that actions have consequences. Respecting others means you think before you speak. Respecting yourself means you consider whether your actions are harmful to your well being. And respect for parents includes thinking about whether your actions are considerate. Try the free printable poster to remind kids to ask, "What if?"

We're different, we're the same

Traits: respect for differences
Grade level: lower elementary
The Sesame Street characters and their human friends celebrate what makes us the same and what makes us different. Teaching respect for diversity, this book shows children how under physical and language differences, we have a lot that is the same.

book about respecting yourself and confronting bullying

story about bullying from the bystander's perspective

book about bullying from the bully's perspective

Weird!, Dare!, Tough!

Traits: treating each other with respect, bullying
Grade level: lower elementary, upper elementary
This trio of books deals with three perspectives on bullying- the one being bullied, the bystander, and the bully. In Weird!, a girl learns to respect herself as she confronts the effects of being called, "Weird!". Dare! takes on the subject of the bystander, and her decision to respect others and stand up to the bully. Tough! shows us the bully's perspective and helps children feel some empathy for how the bully came to be that way.

picture book teaching kids social skills around speaking with respect for others

I can't believe you said that!

Traits: respect for others, self-control
Grade level: lower elementary
Cute story about thinking before you speak, to be sure you are being respectful and considering other's feelings. Good way to introduce social skill, or a social filter.

Whoever you are

Traits: respect for differences, empathy
Grade level: lower elementary
A colorful book that teaches children to respect differences. Depicting children around the world, this simply written tale shows children that underneath outward appearances and locations, we all have similary hopes, fears, joys, and sorrows.

picture book for kids on accepting differences

Accept and Value Each Person

Traits: respect for differences
Grade level: lower elementary
Another in the social series, Learning to get along, this simple book for younger children teaches respect for differences.

story about treating each other with respect and not bullying

Juice Box Bully

Traits: treating each other with respect, bullying
Grade level: lower elementary
Popular book about bullying and learning to treat others with respect. A group of children confronts a bully and convers him to "the promise", a commitment the children all make to treat each other with respect and kindness.

picture book for kids about respecting differences and respecting yourself

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Mellon

Traits: respect for self
Grade level: lower elementary
An encouraging story about a girl who learns to respect herself, just the way she is. Despite being picked on and criticized, Molly Lou learns to be proud of who she is.

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