boy stealing candy

9 Valuable Kids' Books About Stealing

i am a thief 

I Am a Thief!

When a little girl impulsively steals a shiny rock from the collection in her classroom, she is immediately overcome with regret. Eliza has never taken anything in her life until this one moment when she makes a poor decision. She learns some valuable life lessons about taking ownership over mistakes and making things right. 



child punished


Picture Books that Address Stealing from Others

Lots of kids steal things at some point during their developmental years. It may happen just one time when a little one impulsively takes something without asking. Perhaps it's a toy that they want to take home or a piece of candy that belongs to someone else. This act can be even more upsetting when repetitive behavior toward one particular child is observed, perhaps signifying a more serious case of bullying.

Many times stealing is a short-lived phase that requires a little bit of adult intervention to nip it in the bud. More often than not, stealing from others stems from feelings of envy, so it's a good idea to try to identify what is driving this jealous behavior. Reading kids' books about stealing is a great way to talk about why this behavior is unacceptable, how to return stolen items with an apology, and what to do when the desire to steal rears its ugly head again.


alligators alligators

Alligators, Alligators

Jim and his father run a tourist business for customers who want to see the dancing alligators. Passengers board a big boat every day and head out into the swampy water. When Jim plays beautiful music on his flute, the creatures emerge from the murky water and put on a performance. One guest is so enchanted with the magical flute that he steals the instrument and ruins the fun for all the other people.



 the promise 

The Promise

A gritty, sad story about a little girl who lives on the streets. She survives by stealing from others, usually those who are weak and elderly. One day she grabs the handbag of an old lady who changes the trajectory of her life. The lady tells her she can only have the bag if she promises to do something good in return. A brutally honest story about why some people resort to stealing and how they can turn their lives around.



 ricky sticky fingers

Ricky Sticky Fingers

A rhyming story about a little boy who cannot control his desire to steal anything and everything that does not belong to him. Funny pictures add a touch of levity to a serious behavioral problem. Rhyming text make this a fun story to read out loud. In the end, Ricky learns how to control his impulses and refrains from taking things from others. 




 stop your dragon from stealing

Stop Your Dragon From Stealing

An excellent book that presents a variety of realistic scenarios when kids steal. This is the story about a little boy who has a beloved pet dragon who is his best friend and constant companion. One day the dragon starts to behave poorly. He steals a piece of candy, does not return his library book, and takes a toy that belongs to another child. It's up to the little boy to teach his best pal a lesson about why stealing is wrong.



 the map trap

The Map Trap

A popular chapter book for tweens about a boy whose treasured collection of maps is stolen out of his school locker. Alton is fascinated with the incredible detail maps contain and the stories they tell about life, travel, and friendship. On his quest to recover the stolen maps, this bright, inquisitive boy learns a lot of coping and problem-solving skills.



 tunjur tunjur tunjur

Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur!

A Palestinian folktale about a young pot that rolls around the countryside collecting things that belong to others. The charming little pot does not seem to understand that she is doing anything wrong as she snatches all kinds of items. Packed with humor that will appeal to little kids (the pot steals goat pellets!), this unique children's book about stealing is original and fun to read aloud.



never mess with a pirate princess

Never Mess With a Pirate Princess

A feisty princess is put to the test when a naughty pirate steals her teddy bear. When she awakes from a nap and finds that her bear is missing, the princess must find the courage board the pirate ship and recover her stuffed bear. A colorful story about bravery and the impact that stealing has on others. 


coyote steals the blanket

Coyote Steals the Blanket

A Native American tale about a coyote who snatches a colorful blanket that does not belong to him. This single act angers the desert spirit and sets in motion a series of events that could harm the coyote. A group of animals stand up in his defense and try their best to prevent harm to their fellow friend. At the end, it's a tiny hummingbird that finally gets through to the coyote and preserves his life. A wonderful story about why little ones should not steal and the consequences to be paid.


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child stealing


Valuable Children's Stories About Characters Who Steal

There are lots of different reasons why children steal. Sometimes the explanation is simply that they want something that does not belong to them. Whether it's a small toy, a piece of candy, or some other object, young children sometimes lack impulse control and just take what they want in the moment. Other situations are a bit more complex and require further examination to determine what is causing the behavior. It may be a cry for attention or an act of bravado. Reading stories about sharing is an effective way to shift a child's mindset away from stealing, no matter what the motivation. Kids may not necessarily desire the thing they are stealing, but the emotional rush of committing the act. Whatever is motivating this behavior, reading kids' books about stealing can help stop it.


girl punished


Lessons Learned Through Picture Books Characters

Toddler Books About Not Hitting

Stories About Angry Feelings

Good Books About Winning and Losing


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