11 Books to Teach Honesty to Children


We don’t live in an honest world, so it becomes all the more essential to teach this value to one’s children. This is best taught when a child is small, no matter how much he may be tempted not to be honest sometimes.

To bring the need for honesty in one’s life, we present fun stories that are also an easy way for parents to teach their children honesty. The importance of speaking the truth no matter what is a nice to teach children in a story format, and better still when read last thing at night. This list of 11 books will help children start being curious about the need for honesty in life and the realization that it’s easiest to be honest, so why not?

Must Read Books to Develop Honesty in Children

The Empty Pot

A little Chinese boy called Ping is the central character of this story by Demi. It tells true stories of a Chinese emperor and children. The emperor asks Ping to bring a seed that would bloom into a flower, which he fails at. Instead of bringing the seed to the emperor, he gifts the former an empty pot. The emperor rewards him for his honesty.

Liar, Liar

Author Gary Paulsen tells the story of a boy who lies constantly. He tells lies to make things better for those around him. Suddenly, his parents, teachers and friends find out about his lying habit and are unhappy about it. He finally learns that it’s time to tell the truth because this could enrich his life much more than when he lies.

Sam Tells Stories

Here’s a story by Thierry Robberecht about Sam, who’s a new kid at school. To make friends, he makes up a story to tell everyone around. However, his younger brother thinks he’s the best bedtime storyteller. But the truth is soon at his heel, and Sam’s friends force him to tell the truth.

must read books to teaching honesty to childrenDavid Gets in Trouble

Written by David Shannon, the main character is little David who won’t admit to any mistake he makes. Instead, he remarks, “It’s not my fault.” Somewhere along the way, he realizes that when he lies, he feels sad but when he’s honest, he feels better. Children who love the character David will enjoy this book immensely.


Boy Who Cried Wolf

The proverbial boy who cries wolf is a no-gooder here. To amuse himself, he cries wolf. The people of the town are angry at this and they come to save the people. This book is full of illustrations and humour that will make any reader smile.

The Stories Julian Tells

This story is co-authored by Ann Cameron and Ann Strugnell. Julian is an expert at telling stories, even if it means telling a lie. He can make his kid brother believe everything he says. When will Julian stop lying to his brother? Read this story to find out.

The Honest-to-Goodness Truth

This book by Patricia McKissack is about honest little Libby. She knows from her own experiences that speaking the truth can sometimes hurt someone. She learns to tailor her speech by speaking the truth but kindly. Paintings form a background of illustrations here.

The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot

Scott Magoon’s story is a hilarious take on the story, Boy Who Cried Wolf. The story unfolds amid many twists and turns. Ultimately, children do learn the importance of speaking the truth through this story. They also realize that they must be careful when lying or it might come true.

Ruthie & the Tiny Lie

Little Ruthie is obsessed with things in miniature, so when she sees a miniature camera in the school premises, she takes it as hers. Her classmate admits this to the principal and ultimately, Ruthie is forced to admit her “crime” to her parents and teacher. Her teacher praises her for her honesty. A wonderful story by Laura Rankin.

Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big 

Edwurd is known to make up lies to any extent, something Fannie Fudwupper doesn’t appreciate. One day, his story combines the air force, army and dogcatcher. Will Edwurd manage this one too or will he get into real big trouble? Read this story by Berkeley Breathed.


Howard Wigglebottom and the Monkey on His Back

Howard Binkow’s character, Howard B. Wigglebottom, has the option to either speak the truth or not right through a day. However, there are times when he makes wrong choices. His feeling of guilt stays with him until it becomes burdensome for him. This forces him to speak the truth.

The importance of honesty in one’s daily life can never be underestimated. No matter how, parents have to learn this lesson and remember it for life.