Celebrate Imperfection with These 27 Titles for Young Children

In back-to-school season, educators can use these books to convey the message that perfection isn’t required, good enough is good enough, and every child—and every child’s creation—has inherent value.

Picture Books

Penelope Perfect. Shannon Anderson. Free Spirit. 2015.

Rosie Revere, Engineer. Andrea Beaty. Abrams. 2013.

I Am Enough. Grace Byers. HarperCollins. 2018.

Jabari Tries. Gaia Cornwall. Candlewick. 2020.

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain. JoAnn Deak. Little Pickle. 2010.

Everyone Loves Cupcake. Kelly DiPucchio. Farrar. 2016.

The Magical Yet. Angela DiTerlizzi. Little, Brown. 2020.

Help Your Dragon Learn From Mistakes. Steve Herman. DG. 2019.

The Perfect Birthday Recipe. Katy Hudson. Capstone. 2020.

Perfect Petunias. Lynn Jenkins. Exisle. 2018.

The Good Egg. Jory John. HarperCollins. 2019.

The Book of Mistakes. Corinna Luyken. Dial. 2017.

A Perfectly Messed-Up Story. Patrick McDonnell. Little, Brown. 2014.

Stickley Makes a Mistake! Brenda S. Miles. Magination. 2016.

It’s Okay to Make Mistakes. Todd Parr. Little, Brown. 2014.

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes. Mark Pett & Gary Rubinstein. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. 2011.

The Dot. Peter H. Reynolds. Candlewick. 2003.

Ish. Peter H. Reynolds. Candlewick. 2004.

The OK Book. Amy Krouse Rosenthal. HarperCollins. 2007.

Beautiful Oops! Barney Saltzberg. Workman. 2010.

The Most Magnificent Thing. Ashley Spires. Kids Can. 2013.

Being Bella: Discovering How To Be Proud of Your Best. Cheryl Zuzo. Nelson. 2008.


Chapter Books

Nobody’s Perfect: A Story for Children About Perfectionism. Ellen Flanagan Burns. Magination. 2008.

What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake. Claire A. B. Freeland & Jacqueline B. Toner. Magination. 2016.

Mistakes That Worked. Charlotte Foltz Jones. Delacorte. 1994.

What to Do When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough. Thomas S. Greenspon. Free Spirit. 2007.

How to Take the ACHE Out of Mistakes. Kimberly Feltes Taylor & Eric Braun. Free Spirit. 2019.

Gail Cornwall is a former teacher and recovering lawyer who now works as a mother and freelance writer in San Francisco.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing