The following books about tattling help begin a discussion about the topic with students.
While tattling is typically considered an issue in the lower grades, it tends to morph into gossip, bullying, and malicious snitching as students move up in grade level.
That’s why it’s essential to help students, along with support from parents, develop solid conflict resolution skills now.
These powerful and engaging books about tattling are the beginning of that journey.
Books About Tattling
1. A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue: Helping Kids Learn the Difference Between Tattling and Telling (Julia Cook)
To help students understand the difference between tattling and telling in a humorous way, introduce them to the “adventures” of the main character of this book, “Josh the Tattler”.
2. A Children’s Book About Tattling: Help Me Be Good (Joy Berry)
Along with teaching the difference between “tattling” and “reporting”, this text reflects the theme of “Treat Others the Way You Want to Be Treated”.
3. A Tattle-Tell Tale: A Story About Getting Help (Kathryn Cole)
A great read for younger and older learners, this book deals with bullying and its connection with tattling.
4. Armadillo Tattle (Helen Ketteman)
Humorous plus educational, this tale about tattling addresses a serious topic while also entertaining its readers and listeners.
5. The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers (Stan Berenstain)
This read-aloud highlights the issue of when it’s appropriate for a student to tell a grown-up about an incident.
6. Classroom Chaos (Sue Bentley)
A chapter book with various themes, tattling being one, this interesting story addresses the phenomenon of “snitching”.
It also provides insight into when students should seek the help of adults (e.g. when someone is in danger) and showcases conflicts that can be resolved mutually among those involved in the matter.
7. Diamond Rattle Loves to Tattle (Ashley Bartley)
This entertaining book spotlights the importance of teachers (or adults in general) in helping students deal with tattling.
It also shows the consequences of extreme tattling and excessive nosiness.
8. Don’t Call Me a Tattletale! (Kimberly Koskos)
When he is mistreated by a classmate, the main character finds himself in a dilemma: involve the teacher (report) or stay quiet due to not wanting to be labeled a tattletale.
9. Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal: A Tale of Tattletales (Jeanie Franz Ransom)
Underscore to students the importance of mutual problem solving between classmates versus creating a classroom community of distrust through constant “squealing”.
10. The Good Egg (Jory John)
In addition to tattling, this beautifully-illustrated book hits on a number of important issues related to behavior and classroom expectations.
This is definitely one of the books about tattling to keep on a classroom bookshelf.
11. The Great Math Tattle Battle (Anne Bowen)
Creatively written and highly engaging for students, this text focuses on a second-grade boy who uses his math skills to relentlessly tattle.
12. Little Miss Tattletale (Konni Jo Bryant)
13. Miles McHale, Tattletale (Christianne C. Jones)
14. Oh No, Bobo! You’re in Trouble (Phil Gosier)
Engage students with this high-energy read.
15. Seven Little Monsters: I’m Telling (YouTube Video)
Show students this short, animated video about the consequences of too much meaningless tattling.
16. Snitchy Witch (Frank J. Sileo)
A Halloween-themed tale, this book touches upon snitching and details how words can have a harmful impact on others.
17. The Tattletale (Lynn Downey)
18. Tattletale Tilly (Joanna Weaver)
19. Tattlin’ Madeline (Carol Cummings)
Perfect as a read-aloud book, share this entertaining spin on tattling during reader’s workshop or during a unit about social skills.
20. Telling Isn’t Tattling (Kathryn M. Hammerseng)
Present students with examples from this book that will help them differentiate between “telling”/”report” and “tattling”.
This text also teaches when it’s appropriate to resolve conflicts among peers and when to seek the assistance of adults.
Difference Between Tattling vs. Telling/Reporting
Definition of Telling/Reporting
- Seeks safety for peers
- Helps someone in danger
- Lends support to a person who is struggling in some way
- Wants oneself to stay safe
- Requires the assistance of an adult
Meaning of Tattling
- Tries intentionally to make someone look bad
- Desires someone to get into trouble
- Could resolve well without the need for an adult
- Lacks a danger or hurt person
- Involves someone who wants attention or control
A meaningful activity to help students differentiate between tattling versus reporting is to give scenarios.
In pairs, students analyze each scenario and decide into which category to place the action. Practice a few telling vs. reporting scenarios with learners.
Teach conflict resolution and problem-solving using these student-friendly books about tattling.
With the support of parents, these books about tattling help students develop essential, life-long social skills.
If you liked this list, you might be interested in writing prompts about bullying.