Positive and Inspiring Picture Books for Boys

As I stated in last week’s blog post featuring positive and inspiring picture books for girls, this world can be a difficult one for our kids to grow up in with their self-esteem and self-confidence intact. That’s why this post features positive and inspiring picture books for boys. It is my hope that these books help lift up the special boys in our lives, increasing their self-esteem, self-confidence and sense of self-worth.

Negative news stories are everywhere. Some of the most popular video choices to watch on YouTube are of people failing. I believe our kids deserve more positive messages in their lives and that it’s important for BOTH our boys AND girls to receive these messages in a way that resonates with them. There seems to be a rise in awareness of this importance for our girls, but we mustn’t forget that our boys need these messages as well.

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positive and inspiring picture books for boys can help increase self-confidence and self-esteem

As in last week’s post, the books in this post have positive and inspiring messages that are important for both our boys AND our girls. The books featured below each have boys as the main character, which is the primary reason I have chosen them as positive and inspiring picture books for boys.

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How Full is Your Bucket? for Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Rockmeyer

How Full is Your Bucket? for Kids is a beautiful story about a boy, Felix, and how he learns that everyone has an invisible bucket. When empty, people feel awful but, when full, people feel fantastic! Felix experiences that interactions and happenings throughout his day either fill or empty his bucket. He then comes to the realization that he also plays a part in filling or emptying the buckets of others. This book demonstrates how kindness helps to fill both our own buckets as well as the buckets of others.

LeBron James: The Boy Who Became King by Anthony Curcio

The Boy Who Became King is an inspirational biography about NBA player LeBron James. It shows how LeBron defied the odds with the help of a coach after being raised by a single mother and having grown up living in poverty. He now is a basketball legend who reaches out and helps others who may be struggling like he and his mother once did. This book is inspirational for individuals to look past current circumstances and to not give up on pursuing what they want to achieve

Anthony Curcio also wrote The Boy Who Never Gave Up, an empowering biography about NBA player Stephen Curry. That book shows how Stephen pursued his dreams even though there were obstacles along the way.

There’s a Bully in My Brain by Kristin O’Rourke

There’s a Bully in My Brain is about a young boy, Justin, who struggles with anxiety. The book is about how Justin learns to recognize and deal with his anxiety. Justin goes from being a boy who is afraid to try new things to becoming empowered as he learns useful strategies that help him to work through his anxious feelings, taking control of his thoughts and actions.

The North Star by Peter H. Reynolds

The North Star is perfect for children of all ages as the message is profound. A boy starts by following every path he is expected to. However, he finds that he is becoming miserable. The North Star focuses on the importance of choosing the path that feels right to the individual rather than following a path only because OTHERS believe it is the one to follow.

Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

Ish, another story written by Peter H. Reynolds, is about a boy, Ramon, who loves to draw until his drawing is criticized by his older brother. However, Ramon’s sister helps him to see that creativity and being unique is more important than perfection.

Oliver Button is a Sissy by Tommie Depaola

Oliver Button is a Sissy was first released in 1979. This classic book is about a young boy, Oliver, who isn’t into the things that boys are stereotypically into. Because of this, Oliver is ridiculed by others. However, Oliver refuses to change and keeps doing what he loves. In the end, others learn to appreciate how special Oliver really is. Oliver Button is a Sissy emphasizes the importance of being true to who you are and to keep doing what you love.

What Should Danny Do? By Adir and Ganit Levy

What Should Danny Do? is an interactive picture book in which children get to choose what Danny does and see how his choices impact his day. The choices that Danny faces are ones that all kids can relate to. This book is great to help teach our children that the choices they make throughout their day truly does have an impact on how their day turns out.

These authors have also recently released a new book, What Should Danny Do? School Day.

I am Tan by Michele Rose

I am Tan is about a young boy, Christian, who is of mixed race. He doesn’t know what color to use when he draws himself in a picture. In the end, Christian learns to be proud of who he is and that no matter what color of skin an individual may have, everyone belongs to one race… the human race! I Am Tan addresses some of those stereotypes that exist and encourages individuals to embrace who they are.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

Oh, The Places You’ll Go is a classic Dr. Seuss book that is filled with rhyme and a positive message. It encourages readers to be open to trying new things and to have fun along the way. I like that the book goes through the ups and downs of life and that it really is the journey that makes life so special. This book is perfect for any age. It has even become a popular graduation gift!

Elbow Grease by John Cena

Elbow Grease is about a little monster truck named Elbow Grease. Even though he is smaller than his brothers, he has the perseverance and determination to do big things! This book encourages our children to never give up, be proud of who they are, and to continue to pursue what they believe in. It also encourages them to not get discouraged by negative comments that others may say.

Nathan’s Autism Spectrum Superpowers by Lori Leigh Yarborough

Nathan’s Autism Spectrum Superpowers is an informative story about Nathan and his superpowers. This book is great at explaining why individuals like Nathan or others diagnosed with autism may not respond to the world as they are expected to. As explained in the book synopsis, “All children need to know they’re wanted, loved and special. All children need to know they have superpowers. And all children need to know they’re wonderfully made.”

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

Iggy Peck, Architect is a fun rhyming book about Iggy and his passion for building and creating things. Even though Iggy’s parents encourage his creativity and talent, his second-grade teacher is not enthusiastic about or appreciative of Iggy’s love of architecture. However, Iggy’s building skills prove to be useful on a school field trip. This is a great book for encouraging our kids to use their imaginations to build and create wonderful things. It teaches that ‘out of the box thinking’ can have a great result!

Positive and Inspiring Picture Books for Boys; picture books with positive messages for boys Featured within this blog post are positive and inspiring picture books for boys. It is my hope that these books help to lift the spirits of our boys and to increase levels of self-awareness and self-esteem. positive messages for boys; picture books for self-esteem; boys and self worth; #picturebooks

How About You?

What are your favorite picture books for boys to read that also help enhance a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem? Are there any other positive and inspiring picture books for boys that you know about that I have not listed here? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂


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  1. Need to add some of these to my sons reading list! He is really into books now, and he is kind of a shy un-confident kid. I think some of these sound perfect for him! Thanks for the list!

  2. I have a little boy and I had never realized the thing about people watching people fail on YouTube. I love LeBron James and I would love to read these books to my little one. Thanks!

  3. This is fantastic! Today’s world is putting unnecessary pressure on all of us and negative vibes are all around. It is hard for an adult to deal with it and to maintain a healthy level of confidence. Your message here is very important.

  4. Sherry your article is so very well written expressing this very grave event. Would like a written copy of this to pass on to my neurosurgeon in Regina. Aunt Wilma

    1. That would be very much appreciated, Aunty! I think you should be able to just print it from the blog post about Mom’s TBI? If you cannot, simply let me know and I can send it to you in a PDF file.

  5. Oh my! Quite the list you have here! I wanna pick up a few of these for my little man. I love the “How Full is Your Bucket?”. I used to do this one with my kindies and I totally forgot about how much I love this book. Thanks for sharing

  6. I don’t have any sons but, I read the article anyways because I have a little nephew that I just love so much and think he’d really enjoy these. Especially the one about the bucket so maybe he can have an easier time dealing with the kind of mama he has.

  7. We have a baby boy and need to start building his little library. I love these suggestions! I’m a big fan of books that have moral values in them. Thanks for the suggestions!

  8. Ish and Oliver Button is a Sissy are two wonderful books! I don’t think I’m familiar with the rest, but since I have a little boy, I’ll be checking them out!

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