Books

SolStock/E+/Getty Images

17 Children's Books About Lying To Help Your Kids Understand

We didn't even include Pinocchio on this list.

It certainly feels like lying is a phase a lot of children go through, and it's something every parent grapples with, hoping their kids don't become adults who lie. For now, thankfully, the extent of my son’s lying is him saying he doesn’t have to go potty when he does, or saying he has to go potty when we are trying to get him to go to bed. We haven’t gotten to the big guns of lying yet. Many parents dealing with this phase are turning to children’s books about lying to help them navigate his tricky, albeit annoying, territory of raising children.

Instead of books that almost read like a text book about why your kid shouldn't lie, sometimes you just need a good story with likable and relatable characters, where the parent can discuss the story's theme and events instead of giving a lecture about telling the truth. I know I'd be more susceptible to changing a habit if it was brought to me in this gentle way.

Perhaps through stories your child will learn the difference between telling the truth too much, and how lying creates a storm around us and inside of our bellies. And each of these books provides pretty awesome examples of each scenario, hopefully helping your kids find a healthy, happy balance.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

1
A Book For When Telling The Truth Is Too Much

The Honest-to-Goodness Truth teaches the difference between lying and telling the truth in the right way, and how there's a delicate balance in that. Libby thinks she's doing the right thing by telling only the truth, and friends are getting upset with her. "Children will sympathize with Libby as she struggles to figure out that even though it’s always wrong to tell a lie, there’s a right and a wrong way to tell the truth," the description reads.

2
A Book For Lies In The Form Of Objects

Adorable Ruthie finds a tiny camera on the playground, and as a lover of all things teeny tiny, she pockets the camera. All day long she feels bad about having the camera that isn't hers, but what will she decide to do? What's the right thing to do?

3
A Book About Lies Feeling Visceral

Everyone has experienced that pit in their stomach they get when they do something wrong, like lie. And when Levi starts telling lies, he realizes that he feels a storm inside of his tummy and outside. "This book is a great resource to help children understand not only the consequences of telling a lie, but also how one lie can often lead to telling several more," the description reads.

4
A Book About Your Favorite Bear Family Tackling Lies

When their mom goes to the market, Brother and Sister break a lamp inside the house. And when their mom asks what happen, one little lie leads to another, and another... and another. Eventually, they have to tell her the truth, right?

5
A Book About Honesty In Beautiful Illustrations

The Empty Pot is an IRA-CBC Children's Choice and an American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists" book. The beautiful artwork and simple text tell the story about how honesty is always the best policy.

6
A Book About Desire Fueling A Lie

A Bike Like Sergio's shows just how hard it is to do the right thing — especially when you don't have a lot. Reuben wants a bike so badly, but his family can't afford it. When he finds $100, he is so excited that he has enough money to buy a bike like Sergio's. But he struggles with feeling guilty for not sharing it with his mom to help her with buying groceries, and also with not giving it back to the woman at the grocery store.

7
A Book For When Your Lies Manifest Themselves

We've all heard about the boy who cried wolf, but what about the boy who cried Big Foot? This tale about lying has a new and unexpected narrator, and per the description, "demonstrates the value of telling the truth, the importance of establishing trust, and the possibility that a beast you created to get attention can become a real-life friend."

8
A Book About The Difference Between Stories & Lies

Kids will learn the difference between telling a story and telling a lie in this book featuring the character from the book Sam Is Never Scared.

9
A Book For Lies You Tell To Impress

This out-of-print book should definitely be part of your collection. When Kim arrives at her new school, she tells all of them her name is K.I.M. — Katherine Isabella Marguerite — a princess from.a royal family. She only wanted everyone to like her. But she finds out how her little "white lie" turns into an even bigger lie. As most lies tend to do. What will she do?

10
A Book Starring Little Critter & His Lies

I loved Little Critter when I was a kid, and I'm looking forward to introducing him to my son — especially with this book about how even if you only tell part of the truth, that's still a lie, and there are consequences. And that telling the truth is always the right thing to do.

11
A Book That Combines Telling The Truth With A Pet Dragon

You have to teach your pet dragon to stop lying, but how? This story about a pet dragon that lies will help children figure out on their own how to teach someone that lying is bad and why it's important to tell the truth.

12
A Book About George Washington's Lies

Remember the tale about George Washington — "I cannot tell a lie" — and the cherry tree? Well, Gilbert the opossum has to do a presentation on this very subject in his class, and when a very important prop goes missing, things go haywire when he blames everyone else for the missing prop.

13
A Book About Doing The Right, Honest Thing

When Little Croc finds a purse full of money, he is ecstatic. But he does the right thing, tells the truth, finds the owner, and returns the purse and all of the money. When he is rewarded for his honesty, he realizes that being honest is the best thing to do.

14
A Book For Being Honest With Your Friends

This hilarious book shows just what happens when you always blame the goat. Per the description, "children will love to pore over the funny illustrations, picking up clues that all is not as it seems between Jimmy Choat and the goat, Petunia P. Oat. Because Petunia knows who's really to blame, and before long the whole family will too."

15
A Book About What Happens When Your Lies Grow Too Big

What started out as a little fib for Doug-Dennis turns into a bigger and bigger lie. And as the lie gets bigger, Doug-Dennis flies higher, "until he's floating in the land of lies." He realizes that telling the truth is the only way to come back down to reality.

16
A Book About How Little Lies Grow & Grow

Mary Nhin's Ninja Life Hacks series always provides a fun and colorful way to introduce complex feelings, emotions, and skills to young children, and Dishonest Ninja tells the story about how it feels good to tell the truth, and when you tell a lie, it changes a part of yourself, little by little.

17
A Book That Shows The Consequences Of Lies

Lie-O-Meter is a beautifully illustrated book about Eli and his "knack for telling fibs." When his dog gets banned to the backyard because of one of his lies, he realizes how important it is to tell the truth.