Picture Books About Making Mistakes
Making mistakes is a learning process for kids – whether they’re toddlers, young children or teenagers, it’s hard. Learning to say I’m sorry, learning to see the beauty in their mistakes, etc are hard lessons. Here are 9 picture books about making mistakes that help open those conversations with our children.
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We all wonder how best to teach our children the things they need to know. You know, the not-school things, like making friends, and struggling, and diversity, and grief, etc.
Making mistakes is one of those lessons that kids need to learn. They need to learn that mistakes aren’t a bad thing; instead the help us learn how to handle disappointment, how to turn a mistake into a positive, or how to learn a lesson from our mistakes.
As a former elementary teacher, you can bet your bottom dollar that I have a whole host of books about making mistakes. And I’m sharing my favorite with you, so grab a couple that look interesting to you and use them to spark some conversation with your children about the importance of mistakes.
9 Picture Books About Making Mistakes
Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
On this list of books about making mistakes, this is my favorite for young kids. It presents the concept of turning mistakes into something good in an approachable, interactive manner. The pages feature flaps, holes, things to lift, and more. My son asks to take this book with us all the time because it’s so fun! For school age kids, there is also a fun interactive journal that goes along with the book and lets them turn mistakes into something beautiful.
My favorite page in this book is a page where Saltzberg has a hole in his paper, a mistake. Instead, he turns it into this multilayered, peek-through hole with something fun to see at the bottom! It’s so unique.
I’ve linked this book through Amazon, but you can find this one anywhere books are sold!
I was provided a copy of Beautiful Oops and compensation for purposes of review. Opinions are 100% my own.
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
I don’t own this book yet, but it’s on our lists of books to get. As far as books about making mistakes go, this one is a perfect companion to Beautiful Oops and When Pencil Met the Markers. The boy in this book sees all of the ‘mistakes’ as different, beautiful things, and it helps kids see their mistakes in a new way too.
When Pencil Met the Markers by Karen Kilpatrick
This one is so cute! Purple Marker loves to color outside the lines, but the other markers tell him he is making mistakes. So Pencil joins in and helps everyone understand that making mistakes and making art go hand in hand! This is a perfect companion for Beautiful Oops as books about making mistakes and turning them into art!
The Berenstain Bears Say “I’m Sorry” by Mike Berenstain
Berenstain Bears are a current obsession in this house, and I don’t mind it one bit! The Bear family teaches great morals and skills through interesting, captivating stories, and this one about saying sorry is no different! This is a wonderful book for teaching why we say sorry when we make mistakes.
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubenstein
If your child has perfectionistic tendencies, this is such an important read. I was a perfectionist as a child, and I know how hard that can be. If we can help our kids understand early on that making a mistake is normal and okay, we’re giving them so much!
It’s Okay to Make Mistakes by Todd Parr
I’m putting this book in the same category as The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes – a book about making mistakes that’s perfect for perfectionists.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
If your child is one to give up when she makes a mistake, this is the book for her! The girl in this book wants to make something magnificent but fails over and over and decides to quit. But she learns the important of perseverance through mistakes and eventually succeeds in her own way!
Mistakes That Worked by Charlotte Foltz Jones – nonfiction books about making mistakes
This book is definitely for older kids – each mistake is a short read, but there are not pictures for every description. Older kids will love the interesting ‘fails’ that created some of the best known creations and inventions in our world.
Even Superheroes Make Mistakes by Shelly Becker
If you’ve got a superhero fan, they’ll love this book! And I think it’s an important concept: even the ‘extra strong’ and ‘extra good’ people make mistakes and have to own up to them!
Why Should I Use Books to Teach About Making Mistakes?
Kids make mistakes. Adults make mistakes. And sometimes, we need to correct them. Other times, we need to own up to them. And still other times, we can look at our mistakes and find the beauty in them.
We need tools to have these discussions with our kids, and it’s better if they have some frame of reference to speak about them. So if we read books about making mistakes together and create a shared experience, we can approach those conversations from a shared perspective. Books create connections between parents/guardians and our kids.
But do I need all of these books about making mistakes?
No! In fact, you don’t even have to own ONE of them. Libraries are great places to borrow books when you need them and return them when you don’t. I gave you a list so you can find the ones that fit you and your child’s needs, and you can leave the others for someone else.
There is no one ‘right’ way to teach your children about life and making mistakes, but I think books allow us access to conversations we didn’t know how to have or how to start.