5 Inspirational Children’s Books To Read With Your Heart Kid

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Reading books can do more than just promote a love of literacy in your heart kid. Books have the power to teach them about others—and themselves. This is true even if the stories being told might not, at first, appear to have anything to do with growing up with a heart condition.

From classic fairy tales to modern-day marvels, here are 5 inspirational children’s books to read with your heart kid. 

1. Matilda (by Roald Dahl)

What it’s about:

All kids are awesome, and most parents encourage them to celebrate their uniqueness. Unfortunately, this is not the case with a smart and talented young girl named Matilda.

But with the support of her teacher, Miss Honey, Matilda is able to develop the gifts she was born with and succeed—despite opposition from both her parents and the school principal.

Why read this book:

Matilda creates a life full of interesting activities and meaning for herself. This book has a great message that might resonate with your heart kiddo: Even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, children can accomplish great things.

2. Madeline (by Ludwig Bemelmans)

What it’s about:

Madeline is the first in a series of books that follow the adventures of a young girl attending a boarding school in Paris. In this first book, Madeline comes down with appendicitis in the middle of the night and has to go to the hospital.

After Madeline has returned from the hospital, she proudly shows off her scar to her classmates—who then cry to their teacher, Miss Clavel, that they want scars, too.

Why read this book:

Having to go to the hospital for an emergency can be scary for kids. While Madeline certainly isn’t meant to provide an accurate picture of what that is like, it still speaks to the fear that young children can experience during an emergency.

And Madeline’s reaction to having a scar from her surgery is another relatable moment for heart kids, who might, at first, be self-conscious about looking different from their peers

3. The Lorax (by Dr. Seuss)

What it’s about:

A creature called the Once-ler builds a factory that uses Truffula trees to create garments called Thneeds. Another creature called the Lorax tries to warn the Once-ler that cutting down the Truffula trees will destroy the forest and its inhabitants, but the Once-ler ignores him.

Only when it is too late and the last tree has been chopped down does the Once-ler realize that the Lorax was right.

Why read this book:

This book has an obvious message about caring for the environment.

But it also teaches a more subtle lesson that kids can benefit from learning: The importance of advocating for what you believe in is right, just like the Lorax.

4. The Ugly Duckling (by Hans Christian Andersen)

What it’s about:

A little bird hatches with a group of ducklings, but he doesn’t look like them. He gets teased for looking different—until he grows up and learns he’s actually a beautiful swan.

Why read this book:

This fairy tale is a classic with an important message for kids who might feel alienated by their peers for being different: Different isn’t necessarily bad.

5 Inspirational Children’s Books To Read With Your Heart Kid

5. Beautiful Oops (by Barney Saltzberg)

What it’s about:

This book isn’t a traditional story with characters in its pages. Rather, it takes the reader on an adventure through the world of celebrating mistakes.

Why read this book:

Some kids come down harder on themselves when they mess up than even adults would. This interactive, tactile book shows kids that everyday “oopses” can end up turning into beautiful works of art.


Sean Akers

Hi, I’m Dr. Sean Akers, and I’m a Licensed Clinical Pediatric Psychologist at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha. I serve as the primary psychologist for the heart transplant team as well as the coordinator of the Consult Liaison Service. My job is to provide heart kids and their families with support throughout their journey.

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