If you have a tattling issue in your classroom, these books about tattling help begin a discussion about the topic with your elementary students. 

While tattling is typically considered an issue in the lower elementary grades, tattling tends to morph into gossip, bullying, and malicious snitching as kids move up in grade level. 

That’s why it’s essential to help elementary students, along with support from parents, develop solid conflict resolution skills now. 

These books about tattling are the beginning of that journey. 

Related: Prepping for back-to-school? Get some help with our start-the-school-year-with-a-bang ideas and tips

Books About Tattling

1. A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue: Helping Kids Learn the Difference Between Tattling and Telling (Julia Cook)

To help your elementary 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 about tattling 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 elementary students, this book about tattling 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)

Though not completely a book about tattling, this read aloud clearly touches upon the issue of when it’s appropriate for a child 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 kids 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 to the tattler. 

8. Don’t Call Me a Tattletale! (Kimberly Koskos)

This book about tattling touches on the subject of bullying. 

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. 

Address the key differences between reporting and tattling with this book. 

9. Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal: A Tale of Tattletales (Jeanie Franz Ransom)

With the help of this book about tattling, you can underscore to students the importance of mutual problem solving between classmates versus creating a classroom community of distrust through constant, meaningless “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 to keep on your bookshelf.

11. The Great Math Tattle Battle (Anne Bowen)

Creatively written and highly engaging for kids, 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 your elementary students with this high-energy perspective on dealing with tattling. 

15. Seven Little Monsters: I’m Telling (YouTube Video)

Show your elementary 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)

Share with elementary students this entertaining spin on tattling that’s perfect to use as a read aloud during reader’s workshop or for a social studies unit about social skills. 

20. Telling Isn’t Tattling (Kathryn M. Hammerseng)

Present your students with examples from this book that will help them differentiate between “telling”/”report” and “tattling”.

This book on tattling teaches kids when it’s appropriate to resolve conflicts themselves 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
  • Resolves 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 elementary students differentiate between tattling versus reporting is to give them scenarios.

In pairs, they analyze each scenario and decide if the circumstances would be considered tattling or telling. 

Practice a few of these telling vs. reporting scenarios with your learners.

Tackle Tattletale Behavior with These Read Aloud Books About Tattling

Guide your elementary students to being conflict resolution problem solvers using these kid-friendly books about tattling.

Along with the active support of parents, you’re helping to shape essential, life-long social skills of these young children.

What other read aloud books about tattling do you have? Share by commenting below!

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