The beginning of a new year is when most people decide to set New Year’s Resolutions. Whether it’s to lose weight by making healthy food choices and exercising or to spend more quality time with family, we all have grand ideas for how this year will be different.
Unfortunately, those resolutions rarely last past New Year’s Day because we haven’t prepared ourselves for how we plan to make these new habits stick. In other words, they are just wishes and not actual goals with concrete objectives.
So as I was putting together this list of books about New Year’s resolutions for kids, I realized the importance of sharing stories related to goal setting, perseverance, growth mindset, and belief in yourself.
You see, for our resolutions to come to fruition, we need them to become goals. Therefore we need to understand that each of these characteristics and skills (goal-setting, perseverance, growth mindset, and belief in yourself) are all intertwined.
So I’ve divided this book list into two groups.
- New Year’s Books – This is a grouping of books specifically written about New Year’s. These books focus on unique celebrations and traditions related to the new year.
- Character + Skills Development Books – This grouping includes books related to the characteristics and skills our kids need to develop in order to create New Year’s resolutions that stick.
The best part is that all of these are books about New Year’s resolutions for kids!! So let’s dive in!
New Year’s Books
Squirrel knows that New Year’s Day is the best day to make resolutions…but what exactly are resolutions? She visits all of her friends around the forest helping them make their own resolutions, but will she be able to come up with her own new year’s resolution?
This fun book by Pat Miller all about Squirrel’s New Year plans is an excellent introduction to the concept of making resolutions and the perfect addition to your classroom or home library.
2. Freedom Soup
Each year, Haitian families all over the world celebrate the New Year by making a special soup called Freedom Soup. This year Ti Gran is teaching Belle how to make Freedom Soup, just like she learned when she was a little girl, as well as the history of Haiti, her family, and the history of the soup.
Celebrate the unique cultural traditions with the family in this beautifully illustrated masterpiece by Tami Charles.
Another fun title in the “Night Before” series of picture books by author Natasha Wing. A family wants to ring in the new year by saying goodbye to the previous year and celebrating together as the new year begins. Unfortunately, even with lots of fun snacks and activities, everyone is getting sleepy! Will they be able to stay awake? Will each person be able to make a new year resolution?
4. Meet January
January is not excited about having to wake up early for her first day back to school after winter break. In fact, she is dreading the cold. But she is happy about seeing her friends and wishing them a Happy New Year.
In this great story, children will make connections to the weather, the month, and the main character, which is why it’s on our list of books about New Year’s resolutions for kids.
Black-eyed peas are a staple in many southern homes on New Year’s Day, but what happens when your grandma forgets to cook them? Oh no! It’s bad luck! Discover whether or not Shante is successful in getting enough black-eyed peas for the whole family. This fun story by Gail Piernas-Davenport is a must-read.
Polar Bear has invited many friends to his New Year’s Eve party. Young children will count along and practice telling time as all of the different guests arrive in varying numbers and at various times.
This engaging counting book by Paul Owen Lewis is so much fun and is sure to be a hit with your young readers.
This book by Arlene Erlbach is a great introduction to different cultures around the world. With unique stories from twenty countries, this colorful book teaches children about the diversity and fascinating similarities we find across each culture as we celebrate the ending of one year and the coming year.
This is one of the best books for small children (and older children alike) about the history, traditions, and food associated with this Jewish celebration.
Learn why apples are dipped in honey, how to make a honey cake, and so much more. The colorful images and relevant text make this engaging new year book a perfect choice for your collection.
Character + Skill Development Books
In this great read, Kiara learns how everyone makes mistakes and how our mistakes help us to learn. She discovers that she has the power to choose whether she will get up and try again or simply quit. Developing a new habit or learning a new skill will require us to dig deep and keep going when things get tough. And that’s what makes this a perfect addition to our list of books about New Year’s resolutions for kids.
Learning to be responsible for your own choices can be tough…especially when you feel like you aren’t good enough or can’t do something.
This simple tale teaches elementary students to speak kindly to themselves, take action toward achieving their goals, and find the confidence needed to make resolutions. The colorful illustrations and rhyming text make this book a definite winner.
This book is a beautiful reminder of just how resilient we can be! We all have moments when we doubt our abilities, but learning to practice positive affirmations is the perfect way to begin believing in ourselves.
With wonderfully diverse characters of unique needs, this book is an ideal springboard for conversations about giving ourselves grace while pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones.
12. The Magical Yet
Difficulty is the dividing line for so many of us. When things get too hard, our nature can be to simply quit…even as adults. But this vibrant and uplifting book is a great way to teach kids about the power of yet.
While we all have difficulty sometimes, we don’t have to give up! It simply means we have more learning to do! Come along on the journey of a lifetime to discover your own companion, Yet.
13. Y is for Yet
“Mistakes aren’t just mistakes. They’re growth spurts.” Mistakes aren’t final if we use them as learning experiences to grow our understanding. And all the talent in the world is great, but dedication and hard work will pay off greater dividends in the end.
This book would be an awesome read aloud to teach kids about New Year’s resolutions, and an excellent addition to your home or classroom library.
Leonardo struggles with disappointment, sadness, and frustration after several failures at school.
But by taking some time to talk through his feelings with his family members, he discovers that he can overcome his failures (and the fear of them) while believing in himself…even when things don’t go his way.
15. Ambitious Ninja
Ambitious Ninja wants to achieve a blue belt, but he can’t seem to get what he wants. Then a friend teaches him about setting goals and how that can help him achieve the blue belt. He learns about the different types of goals and the importance of practice.
If you’re looking for a book that breaks down goal-setting into easily understandable parts, then this book is a winner.
Remember, the key to any good book list is being introduced to new authors and titles that would be great additions to your classroom library or home collection. And that is what I hope you have found in this list of books about New Year’s Resolutions for kids.
The best part is that these books don’t just have to be reserved for New Year’s! While they’re obviously ideal candidates for January, you’ll find they’re so enjoyable that your kids ask to read them again and again.