5 Great Picture Books For Teaching Character Traits (and Comprehension Questions To Go With Them!)


Looking for some great picture books for teaching character traits in Kindergarten, first, or second grade? In this post, I’m sharing 5 of my favorites!

This post has 5 wonderful books for teaching character traits in Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade!! Also included are comprehension questions for each story.

Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock

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1. Ada Twist, Scientist (Andrea Beaty)

I was lucky enough to receive this book from GiftLit! They included Ada Twist, Scientist in their collection of great new picture books for ages 5-8. You can check out the other awesome books in that subscription box collection HERE.

Ada Twist, Scientist tells the story of a little girl who is observant, curious, and sometimes gets into trouble as she tries to learn more about the world around her.

Here are some comprehension questions you can use when teaching character traits with this text:

  • Why didn’t Ada speak for 3 years? What was she doing instead?
  • Why does Ada ask so many questions?
  • What does the author mean when she writes that Ada “has all the traits of a good scientist”?
  • What is Ada like as a person? (traits)
  • When does Ada’s personality and behavior cause problems?

2. Drum Dream Girl (Margarita Engle) 

This book is amazing for so many reasons! The illustrations are absolutely beautiful, and so is the story. Drum Dream Girl tells the story of a little girl who challenges her culture’s assumption that only boys and men should play the drums.

Try these comprehension questions when teaching character traits with this text:

  • Why did the girl keep dreaming about drums even afters he was told that only boys can play drums?
  • Why did she eventually decide to play the drums?
  • What challenges did she face when her father found out?
  • How would you describe her character traits, or what she’s like on the inside?

3. Last Stop On Market Street (Matt de la Peña)

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña: 9780399257742 | Books

This is another great book for many reasons! It tells the story of CJ and his Nana, riding the bus to volunteer at a soup kitchen. CJ isn’t in the greatest mood, but Nana shows him how to look on the bright side.

Here are some comprehension questions you can try:

  • What does Nana do when CJ doesn’t feel like taking the bus?
  • How does Nana treat other people?
  • What kind of person is Nana, and how do you know?

4. Bloom (Doreen Cronin)

Bloom tells the story of a fairy who marches to the beat of her own drum. Although the king and queen won’t listen to her at first, she eventually ends up saving their kingdom!

Try out these comprehension questions with Bloom:

  • How do the people of the kingdom view Bloom?
  • How does Bloom react when other characters become angry with her?
  • Why did Bloom choose to help the kingdom even after the king and queen were unkind and did not accept her help?
  • What are Bloom’s character traits?

5. Magic Trash (J. H. Shapiro)

Tyree Guyton is an artist from East Detroit, and this beautiful picture book tells the story of how he began turning trash into art.

Comprehension questions to try:

  • What does Tyree’s hobby tell you about him as a person?
  •  Tyree continued making his art even after people laughed at him. What does that tell you about him as a person?
  • How did Tyree help his neighborhood?

What are Tyree’s character traits?


These books are great for teaching character traits, but they’re outstanding for many reasons. I’m sure you will love them, too!

Looking for more resources for teaching character traits? Check out these units from my K-1 reading comprehension or 2nd grade reading workshop bundles:

Happy teaching!!


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donalene groom
6 years ago

Some titles I have never read. I am ordering them from Amazon right now!


I’m Alison, a literacy specialist. I love getting kids excited about reading and writing – and sharing teaching ideas with other teachers!

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