Your Family, Your Library Podcast: Failure and Empathy (Episode 9)

By Skokie Staff Youth Services

These books dive deep into changing our relationship with failure and learning how to build empathy and resilience so we can better accept ourselves and others.

  • Even Superheroes Make Mistakes

    2018 by Becker, Shelly

    Even superheroes make mistakes, but they don't give up. They 'fess up their mess-up, get on with their day, and save the world in their most super way. Ages 4-9.

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  • When Things Aren't Going Right, Go Left

    2023 by Colagiovanni, Marc

    Told through creative language play, and with depth and whimsy, this picture book reminds readers of their own agency and the power they have to direct their own path. Ages 4-9.

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  • A Kids Book about Failure

    2023 by Hicks, Laymon

    Designed to be read with a caregiver, this straightforward book reinforces positive messaging around perceived failure. After all, mistakes help us learn. Ages 5-9.

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  • A Whale of a Mistake

    2020 by Hobai, Ioana

    A gentle exploration of the way that mistakes can feel all-consuming. A straightforward narration and soft illustrations provide opportunity for conversation and growth. Ages 3-7.

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  • Marker

    2023 by Kang, Anna

    Marker is one of the teacher's go-to school supplies...that is, until Pinking Shears, a.k.a. Pink, arrives and dazzles everyone with her sharp creations. No longer the star of the desk, Marker begins to make mistakes. The trouble is, they can't just be erased; her work is permanent, and she's not allowed to fail. Or so she thinks...until a realization helps her rediscover her Marker magic. Ages 3-7.

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  • Snake's Big Mistake

    2023 by Kurpiel, Sarah

    Snake makes some big missteps (mis-slithers?) in this great book about taking responsibility and making amends. Ages 4-8.

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  • It's Okay to Make Mistakes

    2014 by Parr, Todd

    With bright colors and simple text, this book reminds us that making mistakes is human, and shouldn't keep us from experiencing all that life has to offer. Ages 2-5.

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  • The Dot

    2003 by Reynolds, Peter

    Excellent conversation fodder, this book explores the way that what might initially feel like a mistake can turn into something unexpected and beautiful. Ages 4-8.

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  • The Most Magnificent Thing

    2014 by Spires, Ashley

    An ode to experimentation and resilience, this book reminds us to step back and gain perspective rather than giving up. Ages 3-8.

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  • Tilda Tries Again

    2022 by Percival, Tom

    Tilda withdraws when her world turns upside down but, after watching a ladybug struggle and then fly free, she decides to move forward and embrace the changes. Ages 3-8.

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  • I Am Courage: A Book of Resilience

    2021 by Verde, Susan

    Celebrates everyday courage, including believing in ourselves, speaking out, trying new things, asking for help, and getting back up no matter how many times we may fall. Includes information on how to let go of fear by practicing yoga poses and mindful breathing exercises. Ages 4-8.

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  • The Perfection Trap: Embracing the Power of Good Enough

    2023 by Curran, Thomas

    Through scholarly research, this book reinforces the need for balance in life. Perfectionism is not sustainable, and there is joy in "good enough."

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  • Moving Past Perfect: How Perfectionism May Be Holding Back Your Kids (and You!) and What You Can Do about It

    2012 by Greenspon, Thomas S.

    In this positive, practical book, psychologist Tom Greenspon explains perfectionism, where it comes from, and what parents can do about it. He describes a healing process for transforming perfectionism into healthy living practices and self-acceptance.

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  • The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed

    2015 by Lahey, Jessica

    Providing tools for guidance and support, this book is a good reminder for parents and caregivers that growth is born from mistakes and failure, and that children must experience these in order to move into healthy adulthood.

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  • The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward

    2022 by Pink, Daniel H.

    The author reasons that understanding how regret actually works and using those insights to reframe our perspective of it will help us reclaim regret as an indispensable emotion that can help us make smarter decisions, perform better at work and school, and bring greater meaning to our lives.

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