Business lessons from kids’ books

Kids’ books are full of lessons which businesses can use to grow. As we celebrate the 20th World Book Day, here are 10 that stick out for me.

1. You don’t have to be big to win – from Lion vs Rabbit, Alex Latimer

This is an amusing story about a rabbit who outsmarts a lion by racing him to the top of the hill using a secret relay team. Although the message on size not rendering you powerless is a great takeaway for business, the one on deceiving people is probably best ignored!

2. Don’t assume anything – from Monkey Puzzle, Julia Donaldson & Alex Scheffler

When looking for little Monkey’s mummy, Butterfly says: “You never told me she looked like you!”

“Of course I didn’t, I thought you knew!” says little Monkey.

Butterfly replies: “I didn’t know. I couldn’t! You see…None of my babies looks like me.”

Don’t judge a book by its cover!

3. Helping others can help you – from Room on the Broom, Julia Donaldson & Alex Scheffler

After letting the cat, the dog, the bird and the frog ride on her broom, the animals return the witch’s kindness by scaring away a dragon who threatens to eat her for tea.

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4. You have to take risks sometimes – from Little Miss Naughty worries Mr Worry, Roger Hargreaves

After Miss Naughty trips Mr Worry flat on his face, Mr Worry says: “…I might have caught a cold, and I might have had to stay in bed all week!” says Mr Worry.

“But you didn’t,” replies Miss Naughty.

5. It’s not what you have, but what you do that matters – from The Smartest Giant in Town, Julia Donaldson & Alex Scheffler

A giant who prides himself on being smartly dressed gradually gives away his clothes to animals in need, thus earning himself a reputation as ‘the kindest giant in town’.

6. Whatever problem you’re facing, there’s always a solution – We’re going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury

I’ll let this excerpt explain this one:

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7. Bravery has its rewards – from Bear’s Magic Moon, Suzanne Pinner

Little Bear is frightened of the dark, but after a pep talk from the Wise Old Bear he decides to venture out and is rewarded with a beautiful moonlit swim.

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8. You’ll never succeed unless you try – The Great Race

A classic story about a race where a relentlessly determined Turtle beats a complacent Hare. He’s not a bad loser though:

‘”The party is on me! I’ll pay for it.” And of course he did pay – not only for the party but for his foolishness in thinking he could win a race without even trying!’

9. Together you can achieve more – from One Special Sleepover, M Christina Butler, Tina Macnaughton

After inviting his friends for a sleepover, Little Hedgehog’s blanket gets blown away. When they arrive, the friends work together and pool their materials to make a replacement blanket.

10. A little perspective can do wonders – from A Squash and a Squeeze, Julia Donaldson & Alex Scheffler

This is one of my all-time favourite children’s books. A little old lady grumbles that her house is too small. Taking the seemingly counter-productive advice of a wise old man, she invites various animals to share her space – first a hen, then a goat, a pig and a cow. At her wit’s end, she pleads with the wise old man (you’ve got to give her credit for her patience) who tells her to take them all back out – suddenly, her house doesn’t look quite so small…

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Kids’ books are full of helpful lessons for business and life in general. Which stand out to you?

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