Our Favorite Character Building Books

Ever since my children were babies, we have LOVED books.  Because of this love, I have used books as our character building “curriculum”.  Just about any good, living book can be used to talk about character issues – good and bad.  I’ll include a list of our favorite character building books and give a few examples of how I’ve used them.

For Instruction in Righteousness: A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child-Training


Our copy of For Instruction in Righteousness has been invaluable in helping me to tie in Biblical examples and Bible verses to go along with a literature book.

The Little Red Hen (Paul Galdone Classics)Stone Soup (Aladdin Picture Books)Higgins Bend Song and DanceRoxaboxenMiss RumphiusAlways Room for One More (Owlet Book)Bartholomew and the Oobleck: (Caldecott Honor Book) (Classic Seuss)The Wartville WizardThe Duchess Bakes a CakeMirette on the High WireThe King's Chessboard (Picture Puffin Books)The Grouchy Ladybug


Above are *some* of my favorites that are geared specifically for Christians.  Below, I’ve included a list of regular ol’ literature books that we like and how I’ve used some of them for character training.

The Little Red Hen (Folk Tale Classics) –  Pick out either the trait of laziness or selfishness to discuss.  For laziness, read some Bible verses that talk about laziness, tell a Bible story about someone who was lazy or someone who was not lazy and talk about how they failed or prospered.  Talk about times in our own lives when we’ve reaped the harvest of our laziness.

Stone Soup – Compare and contrast selfishness vs. sharing and how everyone prospered when sharing.  Read Bible verses about sharing and tell Bible stories of people who did share and how they were blessed.  Talk about what we can do to be better sharers.  Maybe even take on a project that day to share with someone else.

Higgins Bend Song and Dance – Jacqueline Martin (boastfulness)

Roxaboxen – Barbara Cooney (resourcefulness, creativity)

Always Room for One More – Sorche Nic Leodhas (hostpitality)

Miss Rumphius – Barbara Cooney (thinking ahead, opening our eyes to God’s beauty)

Bartholomew and the Oobleck – Dr. Suess (consequences for our actions)

The Wartville Wizard – Don Madden (consequences for our actions)

The Duchess Bakes a Cake – Virginia Kahl (following directions, allowing others to help us)

Mirette on the High Wire – Emily McCully (perseverance)

The King’s Chessboard  – David Birch (forethought)

The Grouchy Ladybug – Eric Carle (grouchiness)

Boy, oh boy!  I think I’ll stop because I could go on forever.  Just about any book you read could be used to grow into a character study!!  If you run across this idea and try it in your home, please let me know how it goes!!

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