5 Amazing Pictures Books Encouraging Grit and Hard Work

Spelling Bee Before Recess by Deborah Lee Rose; Illustrated by Carey Armstrong-Ellis

Featuring "The Slugger" who practices and works hard to win the school's spelling contest. Matched against two expert spellers, the hero tries his best. Kids who have worked really hard for something but don't get it will identify. On top of those excellent lessons, some good vocabulary words and musical rhyming makes this choice a winner!


My Best Buddy by Yeshil Kim, Miguel Tanco

Touching story of an unexpected friendship across generations. A 85-year-old 2nd grader, Mamello, is committed to learning to fulfill his dreams of becoming a veterinarian.

Most children's books feature children as the ones who need to learn, but this story pivots with an adult dedicated to learning along with children, despite decades of hurdles. Sends a wonderful message about life-long learning. What do you want to learn? Share with your child!


Cow Who Climbed a Tree by Gemma Merino

Tina, the cow, is different from other cows. She believes in herself and that anything is possible! Her sisters dismiss her whimsical claims about dragons and climbing trees. She tries hard and sticks to her goals, which leaves her sisters very surprised at the end!

The illustrations augment the words in the story, which is particularly engaging for read-aloud sessions.



Just Like I Wanted by Elinoar Keller and Naama Peleg Segal; Illustrated by Aya Gordon-Noy; Translated by Annette Appel

Unique illustrations unfold as a little girl struggles to create the perfect picture. With grit and creativity, she sticks to it while accidentally coloring outside the lines and other mishaps.

Excellent choice for a kid to learn flexibility and recognize how to push through when life doesn't materialize as you expect. See what she (and your child) can do!

Crow Boy by Taro Yashima

A young Japanese child, Crow Boy, tells an inspirational story. He practices significant grit to continue attending school despite transportation difficulties and bullying school children. While the schoolchildren tease his small stature, he still works hard and a loving teacher recognizes and applauds his gifts.