Seven Books to Help Children Better Develop Their Self Esteem

Self-esteem is based on an individual’s positive regard for themselves; a confidence in one’s worth and abilities. A child begins to develop their self-esteem in their elementary years, which makes this an important time to foster a strong sense of self. If a child is struggling with their self-esteem, they may not feel proud of their work, and this could lead to low confidence, and a hesitation to initiate activities as they may expect failure. This low self-esteem can affect a children’s ability to succeed at school work, complete tasks at home, and work towards positive relationships with others. 

Our team of neuropsychologists, school psychologists, and psychology students at South County Child and Family Consultants are committed to searching the Internet and beyond to find reputable, informative, and practical tools to help children build a strong sense of self. We look for the best information online to help kids diagnosed with ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Executive Functioning Difficulties, struggles with Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills,  Autism, Depression, and Anxiety and provide you with information about how neuropsychological evaluations help in targeting concerns about self esteem. Come back regularly, as the links are updated frequently.

Below is a list of eight books aimed toward elementary-aged children to help foster high self-esteem. These books will help your child understand that their similarities and differences are what make them who they are, and that these differences don’t make them any less important than anyone else. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses and it is about embracing every piece of ourselves and letting our strengths shine!


The Shiny Bee Who Fell Out of Place
By Natalie Meraki

Amazon Review: “This children’s picture book helps people feel at home in their own skin. Everyone has felt like they don’t belong. It is important to remember that not only everyone, but everything, is made of the same stuff. The shiny bee’s family to the universe, and so are each of us.”




Be Brave, Little Puffy
By Arline Cooper

Amazon Review: The story is about self-acceptance, self-love, and being content with what you have. The bright and colorful illustrations by the author make the concept clear and give the fish their own personalities and identities, making them real and memorable to young readers. The verses give a lyrical feel and they add to the fluidity and pace of the story. It is a wonderful story for children to read at home and in classrooms because of the message it conveys. Many times children are unhappy with the gifts they possess and their uniqueness. This story will encourage them to embrace their flaws and strengths beautifully and help them realize everyone is beautiful in their own special way. If you have children at home or in classrooms who are unhappy with themselves, this story of Puffy is perfect to bring a smile to their faces. —Mamta Madhavan, Readers’ Favorite



Being Me: A Kid’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem
By Wendy L. Moss

Amazon Review: Dr. Moss has written a wonderful as well as pragmatic book about discovering one’s self. Often childhood and adolescence is a difficult road to navigate. Being Me is a great roadmap in which one can build confidence, self esteem, as well as increase essential coping mechanisms needed to manage these tumultuous years. Dr. Moss has filled the book with stories from kids, letting the reader connect their feelings with those in the book, allowing their experiences to be validated. In the “feature box,” children and teens have a wealth of practical tools to add to their repertoire to be taken out and used when they need it the most. I wish I had a book like this when I was a “tween.” –Robin Deluca-Acconi, LCSW, Social Worker



Listening With My Heart
By Gabi Garcia

Amazon Review: “This delightful book gets at the essence of how to help children be more self-compassionate – by teaching them to be a good friend to themselves.  With beautiful illustrations, an engaging story, and a few simple self-compassion practices for children, this book is a must for anyone wanting to help children cope with their difficult emotions in a kind, connected and mindful manner.” –Kristin Neff, Ph.D, author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself


Find Your Happy: A Kids Self Love Book
By Patricia May

Amazon Review: The colors and illustrations of “Find Your Happy” are one of the first elements I noted that brought me into the book. The colors and art on the pages make you feel happy with serene colors, leaves, flowers, and butterflies! But more than that, the messages on the pages are one that kids can easily engage with and use in their lives. Starting with positive messages such as “I am important,” the book moves through introspective happy thoughts, ways to be mindful using yoga and questions, ways to engage in nature, and how to be grateful as a way to be happy. 


Train Your Dragon to Love Himself
By Steve Herman

Amazon Review: “Your children will immediately understand why they are so special and unique just the way they are and how to love themselves and others.”





The Magic Is Inside You
By Cathy Domoney

Amazon Review: “Children are facing increasing pressures and challenges both in their school and social lives. ‘The Magic Is Inside You,’ helps children to regain control over negative self-talk and begin to program their mind for inner confidence and success. Exclusive to this impressive publication is a user-friendly resource section which can be used by parents, teachers and professionals alike to further explore the book, its message and the important issues within it.”