Valuable Lessons from 10 Beloved Children’s Books (We Can All Learn)

Valuable Lessons from 10 Beloved Children’s Books (We Can All Learn from)

Lessons from beloved children's books

By Joely Feder

Do you have a book you read as a child that you hold near and dear to your heart? Many of us do! Children’s literature is fun, rich, and diverse. Some of our most beloved children’s books have also taught us important lessons about being kind, including others, and showing compassion. 

Not only that, but children’s literature has the ability to teach us lessons we need to learn in the development process as we grow into informed teens, young adults, and eventually regular adults, too.

Valuable Lessons from 10 Beloved Children’s Books

While exploring some of our favorite children’s books, here are valuable lessons we can learn from beloved children’s books. 

Amazing Lessons from Beloved Children's Books- KIDPRESSROOM

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Lessons from Beloved Children’s Books (1-5)

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlotte's WebCharlotte’s Web tells the story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte. The farmer plans to slaughter Wilbur for being the runt of the litter, but his daughter, Fern, convinces him otherwise. Wilbur grows up and is sold to Fern’s uncle, who plans to slaughter him for a different purpose: Christmas dinner. Charlotte writes messages on her web to convince the farmer to let him live. The messages become something of a spectacle, and the plan works; Wilbur is not slaughtered. Charlotte, however, is weakened from all the spinning and egg laying. She dies, but Wilbur saves her egg sac and three of those spiders even stay on the farm with Wilbur. 

So what does this book teach children? The lesson we take from Charlotte’s Web is that of friendship. The friendship between Wilbur and Charlotte teaches children about doing kind things for their friends, and even sacrifice. Charlotte does everything she can to help Wilbur stay alive, and it works, even though it is at her own detriment. 

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight MoonThis classic children’s book chronicles a rabbit who is saying goodnight to everything in his room, from the pictures on the wall to the clock. He gets more tired as the book progresses and eventually says goodnight to the “noises everywhere” and falls asleep. 

Good Night Moon teaches children the importance of rituals. The rabbit has this nightly ritual of saying goodnight to everything in his room, and it sets him up perfectly to go to sleep by tiring him out. Rituals are important for children (and all people, really) because it creates a sense of routine and familiarity with daily tasks. 

Matilda by Roald Dahl 

Lessons from Beloved Children's Books Matilda by Roald Dahl Matilda is a little girl who is exceptionally smart, doing upper-level multiplication and reading books way beyond the reading level of her peers. There are some people who cause her trouble, though, like her parents who seem to be selfish and ignorant, or her principal Miss Trunchbull who is a mean disciplinarian. Luckily, her teacher, Miss Honey, who is actually Miss Trunchbull’s niece, has Matilda’s back. 

Matilda teaches kids about fighting injustice. Miss Trunchbull is mean to her students and Miss Honey, and Matilda gets back at her for it. Matilda also teaches kids about the power of chosen family. Both Matilda and Miss Honey’s families are mean and uncaring, however, the two find comfort in each other. 

Love you Forever by Robert Munsch

Love You ForeverLove you Forever is about a mother’s unconditional love for her son. At night, she sings this song to him:

I’ll love you forever,

I’ll like you for always,

as long as I’m living

my baby you’ll be.”

As he grows up, he sometimes drives her crazy or doesn’t listen. Then, he becomes an adult and the roles are reversed. His mom grows older and older, and the son sings her the song. 

Love you Forever teaches kids about the love their parents have for them, and the necessity of reciprocating that love. It’s not that parents just love their kids, it’s that kids love their parents, too. 

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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things AreWhere the Wild Things Are is about a little boy named Max who gets in trouble and is sent to his room by his mother. Here, his room transforms into a magical new world with creatures named the “Wild Things,” who at first scare him. Soon, he is crowned the king. In this new world, Max can do whatever he wants and has total freedom. This doesn’t last long, though, as Max gets homesick and returns home. 

Maurice Sendak teaches children many lessons in this classic children’s book. The biggest takeaway is the power of imagination. Max is able to transform his room into a brand new place all with the power of his own mind. Something else Where the Wild Things Are teaches us is not to judge someone based on what they look like. The Wild Things are scary-looking monsters who turn out to be kind creatures that actually really like Max.

Lastly, this book also teaches kids that sometimes, home is just the best place. Even after all of the fun and adventure that Max has in the world he creates, he still decides to return home where his hot dinner awaits him. 

Lessons from Beloved Children’s Books (6-10)

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Blueberries for SalSal and her mother are going to pick blueberries for the winter on a hill. At the same time, a bear and her cub are gathering blueberries, but they are eating them to bulk up for the winter! Sal keeps eating the blueberries that she picks, while her mother saves hers. While sitting down, both the little bear and Sal lose their mothers. Sal and the little bear look for their moms, but each finds the other’s mother. Luckily, the mother bear and Sal’s mom find their respective child, and they each go home. 

Robert McCloskey, through his beloved Blueberries for Sal, teaches children the love of a parent in this book. Not just for humans, though! The similarities between Sal and the little bear show kids that animals are like us, too. Animal parents, like the mother bear, can love and protect their offspring just like human parents can. They also plan for changes in the seasons, as Sal’s mother plans to can the blueberries for the winter while the bears are eating extra to prepare for hibernation.

Olivia by Ian Falconer

Lessons from Beloved Children's Books OliviaOlivia is a little pig who loves playing, adventures, and learning. Some title works include Olivia Saves the Circus, Olivia Counts, Olivia Forms a Band, Olivia…And the Missing Toy, and Olivia Goes to Venice

Olivia teaches kids about culture. She loves to dance, do art, and travel. These are all great interests that can enrich a child. Olivia is also the perfect book series for an especially energetic child, as Olivia also has tons of energy that she channels into her daily activities. Olivia’s daily shenanigans show children that there is always something to do!

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The Frog and Toad collection by Arnold Lobel

Frog and Toad Are FriendsThe Frog and Toad is a series of books about best friends, Frog and Toad. They are opposites of each other, and together bring out different parts of the other. They do everyday activities, like going swimming, eating cookies, flying kites, and even spending time alone when needed. Each book consists of five short stories that chronicle the daily activities of the Frog and the Toad. 

This book collection teaches kids the power of friendship, especially how it is reassuring to have a friend with you during your daily escapades. Each story itself may teach a different lesson, however, two major ones are having willpower (as taken from “Cookies”) and having alone time even if you like your best friend (as taken from the story “Alone”). These are pointed teachings that every child could benefit from learning. 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

Chicka Chicka Boom BoomChicka Chicka Boom Boom tells the story of the letters of the alphabet, personified as the “baby” letters and “mama and papa” letters. The “baby” lowercase letters climb up the coconut tree, but once they’re all in the tree it buckles under their weight and they all fall down. The “mama and papa” letters come to their rescue and take them home. 

This book teaches children about the alphabet, especially the difference between lowercase and uppercase letters. Children can see all the lowercase letters coming to and climbing the coconut tree. Once the parent letters come for their children, this provides a perfect teaching image, because each lowercase letter is paired with their uppercase letter. This connection shows children lowercase letters and their uppercase counterparts. 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom also utilizes rhyming, which is a fun and interactive way to get a child involved in the reading. It is perfect for reading aloud, and can also be read (or sung) as a song! This brings movement and music into the mix, which are other great ways to get a child engaged with the book.

The Berenstain Bears collection by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Berenstain BearsThe Berenstain Bears, a series that started in the early 1960s, tells the story of the Berenstain bears, a family of bears with two children. This book series chronicles the struggles of growing up, with each book providing a pointed story about a singular issue. Examples of books include The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby, which was when the little sister bear was born, The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV, The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners, and The Berenstain Bears and the Bully

This book series is an excellent set of books for children because the lessons provided are really endless, as each book issues one. The focus of many of the books is often family, being kind and caring to others, and dealing with transitions. These are all priceless lessons for a child to learn, especially as they are growing up and learning how to interact with others and change. 

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Final Take on Valuable Lessons We Can Learn from Beloved Children’s Books

Overall, children’s books unite fun stories with serious lessons. This is why they are so valuable.

Children’s books make it easier to teach children about the struggles people go through in life, along with how to interact with others or deal with new events. 

It’s no wonder there are so many good children’s books out there–there are so many things to teach, and so many different stories to be told!

What’s your favorite children’s book? What lessons have you learned from these beloved children’s books? Let us know in the comments below!