Monday Motivation (from Picture Books)

Happy Monday everyone! It’s the start of another week, which can be exciting for some and stressful for others. We’re hoping that most of you are looking forward to the week, but if you’re not, you might find this post helpful.

This week’s blog post was inspired by, of all things, a Twitter hashtag. If you’re a frequent Twitter user, you might know what we’re talking about. Every Monday we see #mondaymotivation in our trending topics, as people post inspiring quotes, photos, and other graphics to help one another start the week off on a positive note. We occasionally participate, sending out our own #mondaymotivation tweets consisting mainly of quotes we find in children’s books.


Children’s books, especially picture books, contain a surprising amount of wisdom between their front and back covers. Often they manage to convey timeless life lessons in, amazingly, a mere sentence or two. As adults, we marvel at these bits of wisdom, which often get lost in the chaos of life in general. And they’re not just found in the “classics,” the books we remember from our youth; newer releases have just as much advice to offer.

We present to you now some of our favorite #mondaymotivation quotes from children’s books, in the hopes that they will help you start your week off on a high note!

Henkes LPPP

“Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better.” – Kevin Henkes, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

Lilly gracefully reminds us of this simplest of life truths: no matter how bad a day you’ve had, tomorrow is a brand new one, with new surprises and chances to start fresh.

Beaty RRE

“Life might have its failures, but this was not it. The only true failure can come if you quit.” – Andrea Beaty, Rosie Revere, Engineer

No one likes to fail, especially at something that they’ve worked really hard for! But if you can learn something from your failures and try again, as Rosie does, then you haven’t really failed, have you?

Yoon P&P

“When you give love, it grows.” – Salina Yoon, Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story

Love is a powerful thing, and unique in that when you show love to someone (or something, as Penguin does to his pinecone), it will grow into something beyond what you could have imagined.

Woodson EK

“This is what kindness does. Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.” – Jacqueline Woodson, Each Kindness

Woodson’s book about one girl’s lost chance at showing kindness to a classmate conveys an important truth: seize these moments while you can—because, as Woodson points out, even the smallest act of kindness can have a huge impact.

Masks Silverstein“She had blue skin, and so did he. He kept it hid and so did she. They searched for blue their whole life through, then passed right by—and never knew.” – Shel Silverstein, “Masks” (from Every Thing On It)

Silverstein is a master at crafting poems that are at turns silly and at others deeply profound—like this poem, a reminder of not to be ashamed of who we are. If you hide who you are, you might miss someone who is looking to be friends with someone just like you.

Litwin Pete the Cat

“I guess it simply goes to show that stuff will come and stuff will go. But do we cry? Goodness, no! We keep on singing.” – Eric Litwin, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Isn’t Pete the Cat great? He’s always got such a positive attitude. He knows that there are good things and bad things in life, but we don’t have to let the bad stuff get us down. And if you’re having a bad day, wait it out—a good day might be right around the corner!

Beaumont ILM

“No matter if they stop and stare, no person ever anywhere can make me feel that what they see is all there really is to me.” – Karen Beaumont, I Like Myself!

Be true to yourself! Don’t let other people make you feel like you should be, look, or act a certain way. There is so much more to you than what people see on the surface.

Saltzberg Beautiful Oops (1)

“When you think you have made a mistake, think of it as an opportunity to make something beautiful.” – Barney Saltzberg, Beautiful Oops

We all make mistakes, it’s true. But when it’s you that’s made the mistake, it can make you feel like the smallest person in the world. What we fail to remember is that mistakes can also be viewed as opportunities to turn an unexpected situation into a great one. It’s all about attitude!

Muth Zen Shorts

“Maybe good luck and bad luck are all mixed up. You never know what will happen next.” – Jon J Muth, Zen Shorts

Muth’s Caldecott Award-winning picture book is chock full of wisdom for readers of all ages, including this gentle reminder that what appears to be bad luck might turn out to be the best thing for you.

Cannon Stellaluna

“‘How can we be so different and feel so much alike?’ mused Flitter. ‘And how can we feel so different and be so much alike?’ wondered Pip. ‘I think this is quite a mystery,’ Flap chirped. ‘I agree,’ said Stellaluna. ‘But we’re friends. And that’s a fact.'” – Janell Cannon, Stellaluna

It is a mystery, what makes people the same in spite of our differences (and vice versa). You’re going to meet a lot of people throughout your life, and most of them will be different from you. But true friendship thrives in spite of differences, if you’re open to it.

What are some of your favorite lessons from children’s books? Tell us in the comments below!

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