18 Best Growth Mindset Books for Kids Under 5

It is never too early to help your child to develop a growth mindset. It’s a life skill that I work very hard to teach and model to my kids and over the years I’ve used various growth mindset tools to help me, such as the growth mindset resources by Big Life Journal and through reading growth mindset children’s books together.

Here’s my list of the best growth mindset picture books for toddlers, preschoolers and kids under 5 years. I’ve also compiled a list of growth mindset books for kids in primary and middle school age 5-8 years, and a list of growth mindset books for tweens (age 8-12 years). 

Girl Reading Guess How Much I Love You

What is a Growth Mindset and why is it important for kids?

A growth mindset teaches kids that their brains are capable of growing and developing; that they can put in the right effort and use the right strategies to become better at things and that challenges and mistakes are opportunities to grow.

Kids with a growth mindset feel empowered and try harder. They are more confident, resilient and are not afraid to fail!

Developing a Growth Mindset is a life skill and allows children to develop healthy habits with their education and relationships.

Best Growth Mindset Books for Kids under 5

1. The Cow Tripped Over the Moonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36

This award-winning picture book is a riff on the classic nursery rhyme ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’! The moon is very high in the sky, so it takes the cow more than one jump to get over.

But when you fail then you must try, try and try again!

Buy The Cow Tripped Over the Moon Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

2. My Truck Is Stuck!ir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36

Two dogs driving a truck get stuck in a pothole. Through silly pictures and rhymes, they try different solutions to get out of a sticky situation.

While you’re reading it you can discuss how when you’re stuck it’s ok to ask for help.

Buy My Truck Is Stuck! from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

My Truck Is Stuck! By Kevin Lewis
My Truck Is Stuck! By Kevin Lewis


3. Llama Llama Red Pajamair?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36

A comical story for small Llama lovers about a bedtime routine – a story, a kiss, Mama Lama turns off the light.  But not everything is all right so Baby Llama snuggles with his comfort toy because he’s upset and feeling alone.

This book helps children to think about what they can do when they’re feeling sad, lonely or afraid.

Buy Llama Llama Red Pajama from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

Llama Llama Red Pajama By Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

4. The Little Engine That Couldir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36

The classic story of the blue locomotive that thinks positively. Just thinking that she could pull the cars helped the Little Engine!

What affirmations could your child say to help him or her in a situation that’s difficult or new?

Buy The Little Engine That Could from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

5. Brontorinair?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36

Brontorina is a dinosaur who knows that she is meant to be a ballerina.  She uses her determination and talent, along with heart, charm and imagination to achieve her goals.

Buy Brontorina from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

Brontorina By James Howe
Brontorina by James Howe

6. The Empty Potir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36

The Empty Pot combines beautiful illustrations and simple words to tell the story of the school boy Ping, who loved flowers and had great success planting them.

However, when challenged to produce the best flowers from a single seed, Ping is unable to grow anything. Still, Ping stands out for trying hard to grow his seed, even though he has an empty pot and Ping’s father says, “You did your best and your best is good enough to present to the Emperor.”

Buy The Empty Pot from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

The Empty Pot By Demi
The Empty Pot by Demi

7. Frederickir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36

Frederick is a Caldecott Honor-winning story about the unusual item a mouse gathers for winter instead of food. When dreary winter comes, it is Frederick the poet-mouse who warms his friends and cheers them with his words.

Buy Frederick from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

Frederick By Leo Lionni
Frederick by Leo Lionni

8. Owenir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 by Kevin Henkes

Owen cherishes his fuzzy little blanket and no one, not even Mrs Tweezers, is going to take it away from him.  Owen meets every suggestion (like blanket fairies) with a counterargument until his mother comes up with an imaginative solution to satisfy Owen and Mrs Tweezers.

Buy Owen from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

Owen By Kevin Henkes
Owen by Kevin Henkes


9. Oh, The Places You’ll Go!ir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 by Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss entertains in his classic style, while educating you about the mishaps that occur in everyday life. You are encouraged to take the bad with the good while enjoying life’s adventures.

As a favourite children’s author, Dr Seuss is a fantastic choice to introduce a growth mindset to kids.

Buy Oh, The Places You’ll Go! from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

10. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttonsir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 by Eric Litwin

Another rock’n’roll story about Pete the Cat.  He loves his four buttons – but can he sing without them? Pete learns to stay positive no matter what life brings.

Buy Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks


11. The Wonderful Things You Will Beir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36

This book explains that whatever you grow up to be, you will be loved.

Buy The Wonderful Things You Will Be from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36|Dymocks

The Wonderful Things You Will Be By Emily Winfield Martin
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

12. The Day The Crayons Quitir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36

Duncan wants to use his crayons, but then realise that they have revolted! Each colour has written a letter to Duncan (with an illustration by Oliver Jeffers), noting their grievances. How will he solve their dilemmas? By coming up with an imaginative, creative solution!

Buy The Day The Crayons Quit from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

The Day The Crayons Quit By Drew Daywalt
The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

13. Giraffes Can’t Danceir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36

The Jungle Dance is approaching, but Gerald doesn’t know how to dance.  He still really wants to go, so Gerald finds his groove!

Talk about what your child can learn from Gerald —such as resilience, persistence and sticking to your goals.

Buy Giraffes Can’t Dance from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

Giraffes Can't Dance By Giles Andreae
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae


14. Be Happy!: A Little Book for a Happy Youir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36

A version for everyone big and small of Monica Sheehan’s bestselling book Be Happy. Read along and be inspired to be the best version of yourself.

Buy Be Happy!: A Little Book for a Happy You from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

15. Flight School

A story about a little penguin with the soul of an eagle who dreams of flying. Penguin perseveres and follows his dreams, with a bit of help along the way.

Buy Flight School from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

Flight School By Lita Judge

Flight School by Lita Judge

16. You Can Do It, Bert!

It is Bert’s big day, and he might need some encouragement to succeed, even though he is well prepared. A perfect read for anyone beginning a new adventure.

Buy You Can Do It, Bert! from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

You Can Do It Bert By Ole Konnecke
You Can Do It, Bert! by Ole Konnecke

17. How To Catch A Star

The boy loved stars so much, he wanted to catch one of his own. He wants the star to become his friend so they can play together. Will he find a star of his very own? It’s a story about possibilities and disappointments with a triumphant ending.

Buy How To Catch A Star from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

How To Catch A Star By Oliver Jeffers
How To Catch A Star by Oliver Jeffers

18. You!

This book is a popular kindergarten graduation gift, with its lovely illustrations and rhyming text offer hope and inspiration.  You! is designed to encourage big dreams for an adventurous life.

You By Sandra Magsamen
You! by Sandra Magsamen

Buy You! from Amazonir?t=joycewatts 22&l=ur2&o=36 | Dymocks

Want more Growth Mindset for Kids resources? Big Life Journal Review

Growth Mindset Books for Kids 5+ years

Growth Mindset Books for Tweens

CBCA Book Week 2020 children’s book shortlist

Growth Mindset Books For Kids
Growth Mindset Books For Kids – PIN this image to save to post!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through the links it means that I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me to continue to provide useful and valuable content to you for free! Thanks in advance – Joyce

About Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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