Children’s Literature and Guided Questions


 Picture Book for K-3

The Tortoise and the Hare—Aesop retold by Jerry Pinkney (Little Brown, Books for Young Readers, 2013) Summary: The popular Aesop fable about pride and humility, steadiness and flash is retold through the magical illustrations of Jerry Pinkney.


1. How is the tortoise humble?

2. What’s wrong with bragging? Is it ever good to brag?

3. Would you rather be friends with the tortoise or the hare? Why?

4. If the tortoise and the hare raced again and the hare won, how do you think both racers would have reacted? How would you have liked them to react?

5. Can you think of someone who did something really good and didn’t brag about themselves? How do you think that made them feel? Did people still notice they did something really good?

For Grades 4-7

Buddha—Demi (Henry Holt, 1996) Summary: The life of Buddha and history and parables of Buddhism.


1. How is humility a part of the Buddha’s life?

2. Where do you see humility in the story of the Plowing festival—both for the king and the prince?

3. Can you be humble and call attention to yourself at the same time?

4. Who around you do you know who has acted humbly? What have they done and how have they done it?

5. Is humility always a good thing?

Other Worthy Books

Grades 3-6 Sarah, Plain and Tall—Patricia MacLachlan (Harper Collins, 2015) The story of a family, where the father tries to find a bride to replace his lost wife and how this new bride finds ways to fit into the family.

Grades K-3 The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2004) What a lack of humility teaches us.

Grades 1-5 Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams, (Harper Collins, 1952) A pig learns of humility from a spider that exudes it.

Grades 1-4 Shingebiss by Nancy Van Laan and illustrated by Betsy Bowen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1997 An Ojibwe tale of a duck who teaches the North Wind about humility.

Grades K-3 Humble Pie by Jennifer Donnelly and illustrated by Stephen Gammell (Aladdin, 2007) A boy learns humility from his crafty grandmother.

Grades K-3 Fool Moon Rising by Kristi and T, Lively Fluharty (Crossway, 2009). The moon learns the humility of being itself.

Grades K-4 The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009) A Kiowa great grandfather tells his great granddaughter of his childhood in the 1890s Oklahoma Territory.

Grades 3-6 Jesus by Demi (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2005) The life of Jesus illustrated, via King James version of the Bible.

Grades K-5 Alexander and the Magic Mouse by Margaret Sanders (American Heritage Press, 1969) An old woman and her 4 animal friends help the flooding city below their hill.

Grades 3-7 The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007) A newcomer humbly experiences an arrival in a new land.