Respect means treating others with courtesy and consideration, following rules and deferring to authority.

This is a list of children’s picture books that are about respect. I’ve included these books because, in addition to a positive message, they are fun to read. Some are funny, or have great illustrations, and all of them held my attention and the attention of my kids. I hope you enjoy them, too.

Here is an idea to help jump-start a discussion about this virtue with kids:

Try the VirtueGame! It teaches 10 virtues in a fun, engaging way.



The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin


Ruby the Copycat by Peggy Rathmann

Ruby is new to school. When she meet someone she likes she copies them, which makes them angry. She learns to respect others’ individuality and to express herself.

Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells

This is a very popular, fun to read book. When her parents are busy with her siblings and she has to wait, Nora makes noise to get attention. This book presents the opportunity to talk about how Nora could be more respectful, and also how her family could respect Nora’s needs for inclusion and attention.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, illustrated by Michael Hague

This classic book is loved for a reason. Peter is really cute, but he disobeys his mom, who tells him not to go to Mr. McGregor’s garden. Peter comes so close to getting caught by Mr. McGregor that he feels sick and has to spend the evening in bed while his respectful, obedient sisters get to have a yummy dinner. Michael Hague’s illustrations are so cute you want to hug them.

As Good as Anybody by Richard Michelson, Illustrated by Raul Colon

This book tells the story about Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel working together for civil rights.

The Always Prayer Shawl by Sheldon Oberman, illustrated by Ted Lewin

This book follows the life of a man named Adam from his childhood, immigrating from Russia, through adulthood and finally as a grandfather. His name and his prayer shawl are traditions passed to him from his grandfather, and he passes them on to his own grandson. He respects and cherishes the traditions of his family. The book has a serious tone. The writing is straight-forward and clear, with realistic watercolor illustrations. I liked it, although I liked the ending better than the beginning – probably because the illustrations are a little busy in the beginning and are done in black and white. Adam seems more remote to me in the beginning and more real at the end as a grandfather, depicted in full color with more intimate illustrations.

The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis

Michael's love for his great-great-aunt, who lives with them, leads him to intercede with his mother, who wants to toss out all her old things.

Personal Space Camp by Julia Cook


My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook

Encourages respectful listening.