4 Common but Powerful Themes in Stories for Kids

There are millions of children’s books in the literary world. These books contain stories that talk about a wide range of things. Some stories are fun and cheerful, while others are heartwarming and stirring. Indeed, there is more than a dozen of themes in stories for children. To learn more about themes in children’s literature, below are some of the most common but powerful themes in stories for kids.


At a young age, many children tend to struggle when it comes to finding their sense of identity. They are at this stage in which they are constantly curious about themselves. They try as much as possible to learn more about their identity. Because such struggle is common among children, numerous stories for kids center on themes about identity. Stories have a huge contribution to the education of children. These stories help children learn and understand not just the world in general, but also themselves in particular. Children’s stories that talk about identities greatly help children find their own identity and become the person that they want to be. The book Bunnybear by Andrea Loney is a great example of a story that focuses on identity. It is about a bear named Bunnybear who feels more like a bunny than a bear.


Family is another common but very important theme in many stories for kids. Generally, family is the first school of children. It is in their families that children learn so much about life. Their family members are the very first people that they get to interact with. Because family plays an important role in the lives of children, it is not quite surprising that many children’s stories has family as their theme. Numerous stories for kids talk about the concept of family that comes in many forms. Both the traditional form (families composed of a mother, a father, and children) and the non-traditional forms (families with divorced parents, adopted children, non-blood related family members, and more) of families can be found in many children’s stories. These stories basically teach children about the importance of having a family. The Family Book by Todd Parr is an example of a work of literature that talks about family. In general, this book details the daily lives of all kinds of families.


Next to their families, friends are the people with whom children usually build strong connections. Friendships are indeed an essential part of the lives of children. For this reason, friendship is frequently a central in numerous stories for kids. The concept of friendship teaches children the idea that they are not supposed to live their lives alone. As an adage puts it, “No man is an island.” Children should learn, at a very young age, that their lives are supposed to be spent with others. They are supposed to build strong and pure connections with others. Aside from this, friendship-themed children’s stories also teach the young kids that, like family, friendship comes in many forms. There is no single, universal standard for a friendship. As long as the friendship is built on love and care, it is genuine and strong. Sammie the Shark and the Return of the Lost Gift by Janet Councilman is a beautiful example of a children’s story about friendship. It is about a shark named Sammie who lives with his friends in the colorful Coral Bay. Sammie finds a very special lost gift, which eventually turns out to be for a special someone he loves very much.


While most stories for kids stick to lighthearted themes, there are also some children’s stories that talk about sadness, misery, and grief. Grief is an important theme that needs to be talked more often about in children’s literature. Because grief can happen to anyone, anytime, it is necessary to let children understand that grief is a natural part of life. It is a process that should be talked more openly about. Children should be taught that the feelings of sadness and grief are not signs of weakness. Instead, these are symbols resilience and strength in accepting the reality that life is not always happy. The book When Dinosaurs Die by Laurie Brown is an example of a children’s story centered on the theme of grief. In general, it talks about the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one, and about the ways to honor the memory of someone who died.

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