Why do we need to teach children how to lie through books? It’s possible that you believe it’s an easy solution: just tell the children, “Don’t lie!” and go on. Lying, on the other hand, is a psychological talent that requires a very high level of sophistication. When children tell lies, they are demonstrating that they are aware of the circumstances surrounding a scenario, that they are aware of the outcomes that are most likely to occur given those circumstances, and that they would prefer a different result. They could desire to conceal something that has already taken place, influence what will take place in the future, or even safeguard the sentiments of another person. A discourse with a lot of subtlety is in order given the complexity of the issue. On top of that, haven’t we moved on from the method of child rearing known as “do as I say”?
We are blessed beyond measure to have access to literature. There are a lot of great books out there that can guide parents through difficult social and emotional terrain with children, and lying is not an exception. There is a book out there that may help small ones who are having trouble with exaggeration, lying to fit in, hiding blunders, or even handling harsh honesty by teaching them a lesson and starting a conversation about the topic. As a culture, we are shifting away from teaching morality via the dichotomous lens of “good and wrong.” Kids are given clear instruction to explore their feelings and are led in a gentle manner to consider the perspectives of others. To tell you the truth, this is a tremendous accomplishment. I’ve compiled a list of 9 books on lying for children that you may use as a jumping off point for these kind of talks with the younger people in your life.
Affiliate links are used. I may get a commission if you buy via these links.
SCOUT’S HONOR: A KID’S BOOK ABOUT LYING AND TELLING THE TRUTH
BY TIFFANY OBENG
In order to capitalize on the enthusiasm that young people have for comic books, the book Scout’s Honor has lively cartoon pictures. This book explores the motivations for lying as well as the repercussions of doing so. It is less of a story and more of a springboard.
HONESTY IS MY SUPERPOWER: A KID’S BOOK ABOUT TELLING THE TRUTH AND OVERCOMING LYING
BY ALICIA ORTEGO
This book, which is a part of Ortego’s My Superpower series, employs a narrative plot to discuss many fundamental ideas pertaining to honesty. Truthfulness in both speech and deed is something that Tommy and his cherished older brother, Nao, value highly.
NORMAN DIDN’T DO IT!: (YES, HE DID)
BY RYAN T. HIGGINS
The humorous characters he creates and the amazing drawings he creates make Higgins a favorite choice for read-alouds. This book deftly weaves teachings about envy and lying with a narrative that is endearing to read on its own. In addition to that, it has a tree in it whose name is Mildred.
THE FIBBING GIRAFFE
BY DAVID WHITE, KEVIN PHUN, AND RONALDO FLORENDO
When the uncomfortable repercussions of his dishonesty begin to pile up on him, our main character embarks on a trip. When he does ultimately confess the truth, the readers will identify with the pleasant sensation of relief that he experiences.
I CAN DO HARD THINGS: MINDFUL AFFIRMATIONS FOR KIDS
BY GABI GARCIA AND CHARITY RUSSELL
If we lead our children to believe that doing what is ethically right is always simple, then we are doing a disservice to them as we raise them. That is not the case at all. In this gorgeously illustrated book of affirmations, Garcia allows readers to grapple with a variety of challenging situations and reminds them that they are capable of achieving what they need to, even when it is difficult to do so. Garcia also encourages readers to take risks and pursue their dreams.
PRINCESS K.I.M. AND THE LIE THAT GREW
BY MARYANN COCCA-LEFFLER
The astonishingly comprehensible Kim’s goal at her new school is to blend in with the other students there. She says a little white lie to make people like her, which is that she is royalty. She is the most popular student in the school, but can she prevent the lie from backfiring and embarrassing her?
LITTLE CROC’S PURSE
BY LIZZIE FINLAY
The “finders keepers” clause is an additional topic that may be discussed in relation to honesty. What should we do when we come upon something that piques our interest but is not in our possession? Little Croc has a difficult time deciding whether or not to return the handbag he found to its rightful owner or to keep it for himself.
BY JULIA DONALDSON AND AXEL SCHEFFLER
Tiddler is a young fish that is notorious for arriving to class late every day. He is also quite quick to make up a tale in order to justify why he is running late. But what happens if he gets caught in a net and is taken a long way from both his school and his home? What kind of action will he take if there is a genuine crisis?
THE BOY WHO CRIED BIGFOOT!
BY SCOTT MAGOON
In this twist on the classic tale “The Child Who Cried Wolf,” the protagonist is a little boy who falsely claims to have seen a cryptid. This is bound to be a popular choice for read-alouds because it focuses heavily on the ideas of constructing and sustaining trust and is written in an engaging rhyme scheme.
So, the next time you catch your child in a white lie, take a step back and appreciate the fact that he or she is starting to navigate through life with finesse. It may not always be easy to tell the truth, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. And if you want to help your little one along on this complicated journey, consider picking up one of these books about lying! I promise they will make for some interesting bedtime stories.