5 Books That Encourage a Growth Mindset

We all have beliefs about our own abilities and potential. These beliefs are part of our mindset, which is so powerful it can fuel our behaviour and predict our success. Mindset shapes our everyday lives, helping us interpret our experiences and future possibilities. Developing the right mindset early on can mean for a successful, happy life.

A growth mindset occurs when we believe our intelligence and abilities can be improved with effort and the right strategies. A willingness to confront challenges, a passion for learning, and viewing failure as a springboard for growth are all characteristics associated with a growth mindset. Not surprisingly, this type of mindset is strongly linked to greater happiness and achievement in life. Here are five stunning and interactive children’s books to promote a growth mindset.

‘All the Ways to Be Smart’

by Davina Bell

“Smart is not just ticks and crosses, smart is building boats from boxes. Painting patterns, wheeling wagons, being mermaids, riding dragons.”

This wonderful picture book celebrates the power of the imagination while challenging stereotypes about what it means to be clever. Going deeper than just being “book smart”, this story teaches children they can be smart is so many other ways – by being empathetic, artistic, athletic or inquisitive. All the Ways to Be Smart is a wonderful introduction to conversations about self-esteem, creativity and emotional intelligence featuring a diverse cast of kids.

The story’s heartwarming message coupled with the rhyming text and fun illustrations makes it the perfect book to for children ages 6 to 10, and adults will love reading it too!

Printable Resource

Print this worksheet and fill out with your child after reading the book. The worksheet aims to encourage little learners about the different ways they can be smart, and how that might make them feel.

Click here to download the resource.

‘The Wonderful Things You Will Be’

by Emily Winfield Martni

From brave and bold to creative and clever, this timeless story about growing up explores all the things you can choose to be.

Filled with lush illustrations, simple read-aloud rhymes, and a stunning gate-fold that opens at the end. Grown-ups will love reading this book to their children at any age as they lovingly consider all the possibilities that lie ahead. Its enduring message of love and acceptance as children grow and change is both universal and poignant, and is one to share over and over again.

“This is the first time there’s ever been you, so I wonder what wonderful things you will do?”

Printable Resource

This resource encourages young learners to list all the things they want to be when they grow up. Whether it be an astronaut, nurse, sports star or happy, brave, strong, this resource promotes ‘thinking outside the box’.

Download the resource here.

‘I Believe I Can’

by Grace Byres

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Grace Byers, I Believe I Can is an affirmation for boys and girls of every background to love and believe in themselves.

An inspirational ‘can do’ tone is carried throughout the story by an entertaining and easily understood rhyming poem. Readers are encouraged to recognise that they are powerful, to try new things, and understand that defeat is often temporary.

The representation of children with varying abilities, religions, genders, body types, and racial presentations encourages young readers to dream big and believe in themselves. This story is perfect for children ages 5 to 8 and its important message is one they will remember as they grow.

Printable Colouring-In Affirmation Cards

Designed to promote strong self-esteem for children, this resource involves children colouring in a series of affirmation cards. The cards have quotes taken directly from the book and reinforce messages of resilience, confidence and strong self-worth.

Download the resource here.

‘In My Heart: A Book of Feelings’

by Jo Witek

Happiness, sadness, bravery, anger, shyness… our hearts can feel so many feelings! In My Heart explores a full range of emotions, describing how they feel physically inside. With language that is lyrical but also direct, this book is perfect for children ages 2+ to practice articulating and identifying their emotions. The bright illustrations with the cut out heart on each page makes this gorgeous book fun and interactive.

“My heart is full of feelings. Big feelings and small feelings. Loud feelings and quiet feelings.”

Colouring-In Sheet

Download this colouring-in sheet and asked your child to colour the different layers of the heart with colours that represent how they are feeling that day. This resource encourages a conversation about the meaning of different emotions, what they might look like to your child and different ways to manage emotions.

Click here to download.

‘Mannie and the Long Brave Day’ bMartine Murray and Sally Rippin

Mannie and the Long Brave Day is a heartwarming story celebrates friendship, courage and the wonder of a child’s imagination.

Using her imagination, Mannie is going on an adventure. She’s taking her favourite elephant Lilliput and her doll Strawberry Luca. It’s a magical adventure that will delight children in a very special way because it perfectly captures the essence of what it means to be a kid, and transports adults back to their childhood.

With beautiful repetitive phrases throughout and exquisite illustrations to explore, the story is a joy to read and is super engaging for kids ages 3 to 7.