17 Best Moral Stories for Kids

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What is the right age to start reading to your kids? This is a common question asked by most parents. An expert would tell you that a parent should read the first book to their child when the baby is still in the womb. Yes, that is true. Reading to your little ones from their formative years is one of the best ways to create a lovely bond with your child.

When parents read aloud to their kids from a young age, it helps in improving the child’s cognitive skills and instills their cognitive development. Cuddle up with your little one and travel together to the fantasy and adventurous world of books. Why not make this your child’s bedtime routine?

Thanks to the internet, today, there are innumerable storybook options of various genres that you can introduce your child to. The vast online library gives you ample choices to pick from. While it is advised to introduce your child to all kinds of books, you may particularly want to consider picking up stories that teach some moral values. This is especially beneficial to pre-schoolers and toddlers who learn important moral lessons through books without you being overly preachy.

Are you confused about which moral story to read to your kid today? Browse through our list of the best moral stories for kids. Some are classics that have been read through generations. We have also covered the latest moral story collections by the finest authors here. The stories explain the important life skills in a fun way by creating a visual platform to keep kids engaged all through the story, letting them relate to it and also imbibe the lessons in their life.

Best Moral Stories for Kids

Best Moral Stories for Kids

So without much ado, let us delve right into this list of amazing moral story collections for kids.

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The Lorax (Classic Seuss)
  • Publication date: August 12, 1971
  • Print length: 72 pages
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The Hare and the Tortoise
  • Publication date: June 7, 2007
  • Print length: 32 pages
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A Squash and a Squeeze
  • Publication date: April 21, 2016
  • Print length: 32 pages
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The Smartest Giant in Town
  • Publication date: September 1, 2002
  • Print length: 32 pages.
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Green Eggs and Ham
  • Publication date: August 12, 1960
  • Print length: 65 pages
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The Boy Who Cried Wolf (Timeless Fables)
  • Publication date: January 1, 2016
  • Print length: 24 pages
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Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids (Bucketfilling Books)
  • Publication date: October 1, 2015
  • Print length: 32 pages
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The Giving Tree
  • Publication date: January 1, 1964
  • Print length: 57 pages
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DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE
  • Publication date: Publication date: January 1, 2000
  • Print length: 52 pages
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The Empty Pot
  • Publication date: Publication date: January 1, 1996
  • Print length: 32 pages
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The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg and Other Fables
  • Publication date: August 1, 2014
  • Print length: 40 pages
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How Are You Feeling Today? Activity and Sticker Book
  • Publication date: September 5, 2019
  • Print length: 40 pages
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King Midas: The Golden Touch
  • Publication date: May 1, 2002
  • Print length: 48 pages
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The Invisible Boy
  • Publication date: October 8, 2013
  • Print length: 40 pages
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Elmer (Elmer Books)
  • Publication date: September 18, 1989
  • Print length: 32 pages
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The Most Magnificent Thing
  • Publication date: August 1, 2013
  • Print length: 32 pages
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The Fox and the Stork
  • Publication date: July 1, 2003
  • Print length: 24 pages
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#1. The Lorax

The Lorax

One of my favorites, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, speaks about the dangers of environmental destruction.

Where did the Lorax go? What happened to those colorful Trufulla trees and the barb-a-loot? Where did they vanish to? It is the Once-ler who can tell you about it.

This light-hearted tale talks about how greed tends to destroy nature to such an extent that it gets irreparable. And repenting over the deed done is then of no use.

Once-ler gets into business making a lot of money chopping the Trufulla trees. What starts with just one tree ends up in the chopping of all the trees in the forest. The Lorax speaks for the trees but goes unheard. Eventually, the land becomes barren, and the Lorax and the creatures leave the place, never to return.

The Once-ler is the only one who stays back in a self-imposed exile, crying over spilled milk and thinking about the devastation that he has caused to nature.

Lesson – The story teaches kids about the gratitude of Mother Nature and emphasizes the fact that each of us has a responsibility towards the environment.

#2. The Hare and the Tortoise

The Hare and the Tortoise

The classic story of the Hare and the Tortoise is probably among the first stories that you may have narrated to your kid already. This timeless piece does deserve a place in our list of the best moral stories for kids.

The Hare is a fast runner and makes fun of the Tortoise that by nature is slow. To insult the Tortoise, the Hare plans a racing competition between the two. Surprisingly the Tortoise agrees to participate.

The day of the competition arrives, and the Hare is super excited, already visualizing his win. He is so overconfident about winning that he decides to take a nap during the race since he knows there is no way the Tortoise can beat him. But he ends up oversleeping, and when he gets up, the Tortoise is already at the finish line, raising the winning shield.

Lesson- Confidence in oneself is good, but overconfidence is dangerous. The Hare in this story learned this lesson the hard way. The story also teaches kids to respect their friends, even those who may have some shortcomings.

#3. A Squash and a Squeeze

A Squash and a Squeeze

One of the popular Julia Donaldson books, A Squash, and a Squeeze, is for those whose kids who keep asking for more, never satisfied with what they have.

The protagonist of the story is an old lady who stays in a small house all by herself. She, however, complains that the house is small and asks a wise old man for help. The old man asks her to get her pets, namely a cow, pig, goat, and a hen, into her house one by one. She follows his advice and finds the house squeezed and in a mess.

She finds this solution insane and asks the wise old man for advice. He asks her to take the pets out. The same house now starts to feel much bigger and spacious, and the old lady finally accepts what she has, and with glee.

Lesson- The picture book teaches the kids about appreciation and gratitude. The wise old man teaches this moral lesson in an unconventional way to the woman. At times it is best to be thankful for what you have instead of asking for more.

#4. The Smartest Giant in Town

The Smartest Giant in Town

Another one from the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler collection, the Smartest Giant in Town, is a book about love and kindness.

George is a scruffy giant, and then he finds a giant clothes shop. He is excited to shop and buys a smart outfit for himself. On his way back home, George meets many animals who are in trouble and need help. George cannot see the animals suffering, so he decides to donate his outfit to the suffering animals and eventually finds himself scruffy again.

Lesson- How you look on the outside is not important. What matters is what you are inside. What you do for others counts. The story teaches kids about kindness, empathy, and generosity through its engaging illustrations and rhyming verses.

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#5. Green Eggs and Ham

Green Eggs and Ham

Does your child crib about trying any new food? For the parents of fussy eaters who are always reluctant to try a new dish, this is the apt book to read to them.

A Dr. Seuss book again, Green Eggs and Ham, is about Sam-I-am, who tries to pester a grumpy grouch to eat green eggs and ham. Sam-I-am follows the grouch to varied locations coaxing him to try the new dish. Finally, the grouch succumbs to the nagging and tries out the Green Eggs and Ham, and voila! He ends up loving the food.

A beautiful read, with funny and crazy creatures, the book is visually appealing while at the same time teaches an important moral lesson.

Lesson – Green Eggs and Ham book is hilarious, and kids love to read it over and over again while understanding that it is wrong to not make up your mind without trying anything new. It is a deep philosophy not just about food but about people and relationships too. The advice is to never judge someone without getting to know them.

#6. The Boy Who Cried, Wolf

The Boy Who Cried, Wolf

Definitely a story worth reading to your little one, The Boy Who Cried Wolf does find a special mention in our collection of the best moral stories for kids.

A carefree boy in a village is given the task of watching the sheep grazing in the field. The job feels monotonous, and the boy decides to have some fun. One day, while the sheep were grazing on the farm, the boy started shouting β€œwolf,” “wolf.” The villagers panicked and rushed to the spot only to find the sheep grazing away happily, and the boy is rolling in laughter. They realized that they were fooled and went back grumbling.

The boy did the same trick again the next day. The villagers came to help and fumbled, vowing to never get tricked again.

The boy cried wolf the next day again. The villagers left his shouts unheard. But unfortunately, the wolf had actually attacked the sheep. How much ever the boy shouted, none of the villagers came to his rescue. The boy thus lost all his sheep and went back home in tears.

Lesson – Lie once, and you will be treated as a liar for life, even when you speak the truth. No one trusts liars, and so it is important to always be truthful.

#7. Have You Filled A Bucket Today?

Have You Filled A Bucket Today?

Happiness comes from within, and it is something that should be carried all through the day. The book by Carol McCloud explains this vital life lesson in an engaging way.

The story revolves around an invisible bucket. The bucket holds all your feelings and thoughts. When the bucket is full, you feel elated. The bucket goes empty, and you feel sad and lonely. Everyone carries this bucket. You should fill others’ buckets, and only then will others fill yours. You want to be a bucket filler, sharing love and kindness with all.

The story also introduces the bucket dipper who takes away others’ happiness. But that will make both you and the person you take his happiness from feeling sad.

So who would you like to be, The bucket filler or the bucket dipper?

Lesson- The award-winning books teach you to be kind to others which in turn will make you happy from within. It is important to show empathy and do good to others to be happy and satisfied from within.

#8. The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein revolves around the relationship between a tree and a boy. The tree keeps giving, and the boy keeps taking. The boy eventually realizes the act of giving, but it is too late.

The story is about the sacrificial love of the tree for the boy. From letting the boy climb on its branches to giving away its apples and branches to the boy to sell and make money, the tree has always been giving without a single complaint.

Lesson – The story demonstrates that it is not good to be selfish and keep taking. Instead, it is important to appreciate the generosity and be thankful for what you have instead of asking for more and more, else you may end up losing it all.

#9. David Gets In Trouble

David Gets In Trouble

Do your children own up to their mistakes or do they hide behind others or, worse still, lie with an excuse? Then go ahead and read this book about how David Gets In Trouble by David Shannon.

David gets into trouble when he does something mischievous. But he always comes up with an excuse to escape. The book revolves around David, who never accepts any of his wrongdoings. He gets into trouble and does not realize that it is his lies that are leading him here.

Once he has a scary dream and finally admits to his mistake and apologizes for what he has done. He realizes that telling Sorry makes him feel much better than lying and putting a cover on his mischiefs.

Lesson – The book imparts the lesson of honesty, helping children to stand up and accept their actions even if that may get them into trouble. Owning up to one’s mistakes will always make you feel better.

#10. The Empty Pot

The Empty Pot

Will you win by the wrong means or take the right path to success? The value is explained through Demi’s book, The Empty Pot.

The Empty Pot is a story set in China. The Emperor of China loves flowers. He is old and in search of a successor. So he decides to give a seed to every child and proclaims that the one who grows the best flower will be chosen as his successor.

Ping, the main character in the story, is excited and wants to be the next Emperor of China. He plants the seeds, diligently waters, and tends to it. It is a year, the spring is here, but the pot is still empty.

The final selection day arrives, and all the children rush to show their beautiful and bright flowers to the emperor. Ping has an empty pot, and he is ashamed of it, but on his father’s advice, he gathers the courage to take the empty pot to the emperor.

The emperor frowns when he sees the beautiful flowers around him. However, his eyes lit up when he sees Ping and his empty pot. He proclaims Ping as the successor of his empire. 

But why did he take this decision?

All the seeds were cooked, and so none of them could sprout. Ping was honest and courageous to come up with the true result of his hard work. He did not resort to cheating, and these are the qualities that every empire desires of its king.

Lesson – It is important to work hard but to cheat to become successful takes you nowhere in life.

#11. The Goose That Laid Golden Eggs

The Goose That Laid Golden Eggs

From the Aesop fables collection, this story of the goose that laid golden eggs is a popular tale that shows how greed can be devastating.

A man and his wife got lucky. A hen in their farm laid golden eggs. One golden egg each day! The story visually shows how the farmer and his wife went from rags to riches in no time, selling a golden egg each day.

But then they got greedy. And the wife suggested killing the goose so that they could get all the golden eggs at once. The farmer and his wife thus killed the goose only to find its stomach empty.

Lesson- The story teaches kids to not be greedy but content with what they have. It is also important to think before you act.

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#12. How Are You Feeling Today?

How Are You Feeling Today?

Kids, like adults, go through all sorts of emotions. It is ok and natural to feel angry, sad, and depressed, but how should you deal with them?

This story by Molly Potter throws light on the right ways to handle one’s feelings. The book is delightful and imaginative that explains various scenarios helping the child with the right ways to cope up with their feeling because crying and throwing tantrums never helps!

Through many child-friendly solutions, the author teaches how to handle even the strongest of emotions. Why not talk to your parents or an adult who can help you out? Is that not a better way of solving the problem instead of yelling and shouting?

Lesson- How Are You Feeling Today helps children verbalize their feelings but in a calm way without crying or shouting. It is ok to feel sad, grumpy, and angry, but it is also important to know how to deal with these emotions and seek help when needed.

#13. King Midas and the Golden Touch

King Midas and the Golden touch

Midas is a Roman and Greek legend who is known for his greed and foolishness. As per legend, Midas found Silenus wandering, and he treated him kindly. Silenus thus granted Midas a wish. And do you know what Midas asked for? He wished that everything that he touches turns to gold? But was that a smart thing to ask?

King Midas in the story is shown as greedy even though he had a lot of wealth. A Greek God visits the kingdom of Midas, grants the king a wish, and Midas asks for everything that he touches to turn gold.

Midas gets excited and overwhelmed but when he touches his food to eat it turns to gold. He was starving, but he could not eat anything. His daughter saw his desperate state and came to hug him. And she turns to gold too.

King Midas began crying, and he begged the Greek God to take back his wish. God showed mercy and instructed Midas to take a dip in the pond to turn everything back to normal. Midas did so and was happy to get his daughter back and even eat food.

Lesson – Too much greed can lead to great losses.

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#14. The Invisible Boy 

The Invisible BoyΒ 

A simple story with a strong moral, the Invisible Boy portrays how an act of kindness can transform someone’s life.

The story introduces Brian. He is a boy whom no one even notices in class because he is too quiet. This was until Justin joins his class.

Brian makes Justin feel comfortable in the new environment, and soon they become friends. They team up in a school project where they perform, and Brian finally shines.

Lesson – Written by Trudy Ludwig, the story teaches empathy through which kids learn to make others feel comfortable and to never leave anyone invisible.

#15. Elmer

Are you different from the rest? Do you feel worried that your tribe may not accept you? Then you should meet Elmer.

Elmer by David Mickee is about a lovable elephant that looks different. He has colorful patchwork on his body, and the herd of grey elephants thus make him the topic of laughter. Elmer tries hard to blend in with others but fails. And then he does a Booo! And the elephants are surprised and laugh along with him.

It is fun to be interesting and different, right?

Lesson – Instead of shying, Elmer accepts that he is different and stands up with confidence. He embraces his individuality and even inspires others to do so. You may be unique, but it is important to love yourself and not be afraid of anyone. Self-acceptance is important. No wonder this beautifully written book and this lovable elephant Elmer has been a favorite for over 25 years.

 

#16. The Most Magnificent Thing

The Most Magnificent Thing

Our kids are curious, inventive, and always in the urge to make something new or do things differently. But at times, they fail and get frustrated.

The book, The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires focuses on this aspect where it speaks to kids asking them not to let anything stop them from achieving their dreams. Failures are common in the path, but a little bit of extra effort and a little motivation will ultimately lead them to success.

A little girl with her canine friend set out to make a magnificent thing. She can visualize how it will look, has come up with a detailed plan for it, and is confident about giving it the desired shape since she always makes things. But there are hiccups on the way, and the magnificent thing did not turn out to be easy-peasy to make.

The girl tries and repeatedly fails, eventually getting mad and leaving the project midway. While she is about to give up, her pet friend convinces her to go for a walk and then start anew with fresh energy and enthusiasm. And in the next attempt, she gets it right.

Lesson – The book educates kids about creativity and perseverance. Frustration is common, and there will be failures in the path to success, but that should not deter you from trying hard and achieving your goal.

#17. The Fox and the Stork

The Fox and the Stork

A classic story from Aesop’s fables, The Fox and the Stork, is to teach the little ones that how you treat others is how you get treated in return.

A selfish fox once invites his friend the Stork to dinner. The fox cooks a tasty soup, and the entire room fills with its aroma. However, when it is time to serve, the fox serves the soup in a shallow bowl which makes it difficult for the Stork to eat it. And the fox licks the soup clean from his bowl.

The Stork does not show anger and instead invites the fox to dinner the next day. She, too, serves soup but in a vase with a narrow neck. Today the Stork drinks the entire soup, and the fox returns back famished.

Lesson – If you act selfishly with others, others will act the same with you.

Tips on how to make storytime interesting

Storytimes should be fun, not something to be done forcefully. How you narrate the story also tends to impact the learning that the child takes from the story. The story may be engaging, but if it is a monotonous recitation, then the kid will soon lose interest.

Here we list down some simple tips on how to make the best of your kids’ storytime.

  • Be creative, articulating your tone and pitch for each character. Acting out some parts will bring life to the characters. You may want to emphasize the protagonist more so that child understands and remembers the moral for a long.
  • For the little ones, give them some time to look at the pictures. You may also download some coloring material of the important characters or scenes from the book. The child will be able to relate to the story better.
  • Ask your kids questions and let them share their opinion. This will let you know if your kid is getting the plot correctly and will also keep them from dozing off or losing focus.
  • Reading the stories outdoors is also a great idea to create a little excitement. 
  • While it is great to have a bedtime story session, every child is different. Reading stories at different times of the day will let you judge when your child’s attention span is the best.

Conclusion

Research proves that books have the potential to ignite and inspire imagination. Books entertain, but it also imparts values and induces positive behaviors in kids.

Moral stories with colorful pictures, interesting characters, and compelling plots do not fail to capture the child’s attention. It lets the child create visual pictures and teaches values that a mom-and-dad lecture may never be able to accomplish.

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