Books That Build Self-Esteem

Growing up is hard work, but liking who you are makes it easier. That's why we've put together this list of books that encourage kids of every age to value themselves -- even the things that make them stand out from the crowd. For more affirming messages, check out our Books That Promote a Healthy Body Image and Books with Strong Female Characters.

Bright Brown Baby Poster Image
BOOK

Bright Brown Baby

age 2+

Fun, bright celebration of Brown babies and their beauty.

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Happy to Be Nappy Poster Image
BOOK

Happy to Be Nappy

age 2+

Lighthearted tribute to Black girls' hair.

By: bell hooks (1999)
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We Believe in You Poster Image
BOOK

We Believe in You

age 2+

Warm, softly illustrated animals inspire and reassure.

By: Beth Ferry (2020)
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Brown Poster Image
BOOK

Brown

age 3+

Beautiful depiction of a family's colorful shades of love.

By: Nancy Johnson James (2020)
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Cannonball Poster Image
BOOK

Cannonball

age 3+

Warm story of individuality and achieving a perfect splash.

By: Sacha Cotter (2020)
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I Am Perfectly Designed Poster Image
BOOK

I Am Perfectly Designed

age 3+

Gentle, loving tale of an affirming father-son relationship.

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I Am Smart, I Am Blessed, I Can Do Anything! Poster Image
BOOK

I Am Smart, I Am Blessed, I Can Do Anything!

age 3+

Inspiring viral video comes to life in beautiful book.

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Ambitious Girl Poster Image
BOOK

Ambitious Girl

age 4+

Motivating words and pictures reinforce drive, big goals.

By: Meena Harris (2021)
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Beautifully Me Poster Image
BOOK

Beautifully Me

age 4+

Family remembers what beauty really is in kind, joyful tale.

By: Nabela Noor (2021)
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Black Is a Rainbow Color Poster Image
BOOK

Black Is a Rainbow Color

age 4+

Smart verse and bright art assert the sanctity of Blackness.

By: Angela Joy (2020)
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Chocolate Me! Poster Image
BOOK

Chocolate Me!

age 4+

Candid charmer a positive intro to self-esteem and race.

By: Taye Diggs (2011)
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Don't Touch My Hair! Poster Image
BOOK

Don't Touch My Hair!

age 4+

Girl speaks up, sets boundaries in funny picture book.

By: Sharee Miller (2019)
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Eyes That Kiss in the Corners Poster Image
BOOK

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners

age 4+

Lovely picture book celebrates family identity, heritage.

By: Joanna Ho (2021)
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Eyes That Speak to the Stars Poster Image
BOOK

Eyes That Speak to the Stars

age 4+

Little boy learns his eyes are beautiful in gorgeous sequel.

By: Joanna Ho (2022)
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I Am Enough Poster Image
BOOK

I Am Enough

age 4+

Girl celebrates herself in poetic picture book.

By: Grace Byers (2019)
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I Am Golden Poster Image
BOOK

I Am Golden

age 4+

Girl learns to love being Chinese American in joyful tale.

By: Eva Chen (2022)
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I Believe I Can Poster Image
BOOK

I Believe I Can

age 4+

Poetic picture book encourages self-esteem and optimism.

By: Grace Byers (2020)
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I Promise Poster Image
BOOK

I Promise

age 4+

Inspiring pledges encourage kids to try hard, aim high.

By: LeBron James (2020)
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I Talk Like a River Poster Image
BOOK

I Talk Like a River

age 4+

Beautiful, personal tale of boy's struggles with stuttering.

By: Jordan Scott (2020)
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Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You Poster Image
BOOK

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

age 4+

Gorgeous, upbeat book about strength in our differences.

By: Sonia Sotomayor (2019)
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