Books That Promote a Healthy Body Image

Body-image issues begin affecting kids as early as elementary school, and media can have a strong influence. Since kids come in all shapes and sizes, we chose some of our favorite books that reflect that. The books on our list feature characters whose lives aren't limited or defined by gender stereotypes of "thin, pretty girl" or "strong, athletic boy." And they just might help young readers feel extra comfortable in their own skin. There's even a guide that focuses on body image. For more examples of positive media, be sure to check out these TV Shows That Defy Gender Stereotypes and Movies That Defy Gender Stereotypes.

Flora and the Flamingo Poster Image
BOOK

Flora and the Flamingo

age 3+

Girl makes a feathered friend in whimsical, wordless outing.

By: Molly Idle (2013)
See full review
Beautifully Me Poster Image
BOOK

Beautifully Me

age 4+

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

By: Nabela Noor (2021)
See full review
Brontorina Poster Image
BOOK

Brontorina

age 4+

Dino's gotta dance in sweet, body-positive ballet tale.

By: James Howe (2010)
See full review
Her Body Can Poster Image
BOOK

Her Body Can

age 4+

Sweet body-positive book encourages body- and self-love.

See full review
Princess Grace Poster Image
BOOK

Princess Grace

age 4+

Princesses shine more than their tiaras in refreshing tale.

By: Mary Hoffman (2008)
See full review
Princess Smartypants Poster Image
BOOK

Princess Smartypants

age 4+

A high-spirited tale full of humor.

By: Babette Cole (1986)
See full review
Firebird Poster Image
BOOK

Firebird

age 5+

Soaring, rhythmic story for dancers with big dreams.

By: Misty Copeland (2014)
See full review
Freckleface Strawberry Poster Image
BOOK

Freckleface Strawberry

age 5+

Teased girl learns self-acceptance in fun friendship tale.

By: Julianne Moore (2007)
See full review
Ivy + Bean, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Ivy + Bean, Book 1

age 6+

Friendship tale a sure hit with kids starting chapter books.

By: Annie Barrows (2007)
See full review
Giants Beware! Poster Image
BOOK

Giants Beware!

age 7+

Fabulous medieval fairy tale with mighty girl heroine.

By: Jorge Aguirre (2012)
See full review
Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child Poster Image
BOOK

Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child

age 8+

Charming, realistic take on middle school popularity race.

By: Maria T. Lennon (2013)
See full review
Handbook for Dragon Slayers Poster Image
BOOK

Handbook for Dragon Slayers

age 8+

Exciting medieval adventure with brave teens and dragons.

By: Merrie Haskell (2013)
See full review
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Harry Potter, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Harry Potter, Book 1

age 8+

Magical start of the fantastic boy-wizard series.

By: J. K. Rowling (1998)
See full review
The Littlest Bigfoot: The Littlest Bigfoot, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The Littlest Bigfoot: The Littlest Bigfoot, Book 1

age 8+

Misfits find common ground, friendship in quirky fantasy.

By: Jennifer Weiner (2016)
See full review
Randi Rhodes Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit Poster Image
BOOK

Randi Rhodes Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit

age 8+

Action-packed mystery teaches kids detective skills.

By: Octavia Spencer (2013)
See full review
Blubber Poster Image
BOOK

Blubber

age 9+

Honest novel shows brutality of grade school bullying.

By: Judy Blume (1974)
See full review
The Body Image Book for Girls: Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless Poster Image
BOOK

The Body Image Book for Girls: Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless

age 9+

Friendly, factual book helps girls appreciate their bodies.

By: Charlotte Markey (2020)
See full review
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth Poster Image
BOOK

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth

age 9+

Greg faces puberty's horrors in funny 5th installment.

By: Jeff Kinney (2010)
See full review
A Girl's Guide to Puberty & Periods Poster Image
BOOK

A Girl's Guide to Puberty & Periods

age 9+

Experts explore girls' puberty in fun, relatable guide.

See full review
Good Enough Poster Image
BOOK

Good Enough

age 9+

Compelling, emotional look at tween's anorexia recovery.

By: Jen Petro-Roy (2019)
See full review