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.
If you are looking for some more help explaining honesty to kids, try these Honesty Teaching Resources.
Traits: honesty, conscience, forgiveness
When a boy sneaks off for a secret game on his gameplayer, a wise old tree steps in to help him realize that being dishonest in your actions (deceit) doesn't feel very good in your heart. The boy learns to listen to his conscience, grow from mistakes, and enjoy the pride that comes from making good choices. Includes free teaching resources.
Traits: honesty, responsibility
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.
Traits: honesty, courage
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.
Traits: honesty, truthfulness
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.
In "The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot", we get the age's old morality tale about lying and losing trust, but with a funny new character and plot twist.
Traits: honesty, respect, caring
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.
Traits: honesty, conscience
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.
Traits: honesty, taking resposibility
From the popular Berenstain Bears book series, the two younger bears learn a lesson about telling the truth and taking responsibility for their actions.
Traits: honesty, caring
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.
Traits: honesty, conscience
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.