It’s important to read picture books about being true to yourself so that as our kids grow, they feel comfortable being themselves. We want them to both know themselves as well as be proud of who they are. Seeing this in picture books can prompt that discussion and remind us to encourage our kids. Who they are is perfect and lovable.
Author and illustrator, Eric Wight, tells his kids, “Uniqueness is not a weakness.” I love this wise parenting saying. Don’t you?
Because it’s true. And it’s important our kids know we love them for who they are.
As R.J. Palacio writes, “We’re all wonders!”
Picture Books About Being True to Yourself
We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio
Simple and heartfelt, Aggie shares that he’s just like everyone else even if he doesn’t look like other people. It hurts his feelings when people point and laugh so his strategy is to put on his helmet, blast off into space, and get a bigger perspective. He sees that the Earth is full of lots of different people, all of them wonders. He is a wonder, too. We all are.”Look with kindness and you will always find wonder.“
BunnyBear by Andrea J. Loney, illustrated by Carmen Saldana
BunnyBear feels more like a bunny than a bear. He loves to bounce and wiggle his nose. But the other bears don’t get him, and neither do the other bunnies. Until he meets Grizzlybun. An encouraging story about being true to yourself.
Samson The Piranha Who Went to Dinner by Tadgh Bentley
Samson is a foodie piranha. Unfortunately, he scares everyone at the fancy restaurants even after he smiles his friendliest smile and tries disguises. (The fishy exclamations of the terrified waiters are my favorite such as “for the love of smoky sea bass!”) Samson realizes he isn’t the only so-called fearsome fish who wants fancy food so he and his new friends open their own restaurant, no disguises for fearsome fishes needed. Sure to be a kid-favorite story.
Made by Raffi by Craig Pomranz, illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain
You’ll want to read this picture book to your kids because it shows that boys can like ANYTHING. Raffi always feels different especially when he learns that he loves to knit and sew. At first he worries. However, when he helps make a cape for the class play, everyone soon wants something “Made by Raffi.”
The Catawampus Cat by Jason Carter Eaton, illustrated by Gus Gordon
A small gray cat walks into town slightly tilted to one side. At first they townspeople tried to straighten him out but that didn’t work. What did work was for the people to tilt and notice life differently. Which created all sots of wonderful, happy results for everyone. You’ll walk (and see life) a little differently after reading this super special slanty picture story!
Ice Boy by David Ezra Stein
Ice Boy is born an ice cube but he wants to explore the world, not just wait to be picked for someone’s drink. And so he does in a charming journey of exploration and the water cycle (ice becomes, water becomes vapor)!
Antoinette by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson
Antoinette hasn’t found what she’s good at, not like her brothers. “Chin up,” her mom tells her. When her friend, Ooh-La-La, chases after a butterfly and disappears, no one else can find her. Except Antoinette. Brave Antoinette follows her heart and her nose! What an encouraging message to kids who are still searching for their unique gifts.
Bow-Wow-Meow by Blanca Lacasa, illustrated by Gomez
Fabio is an unusual dog. He doesn’t bark, roll over, or even wag his tail. His family tries to engage him in dog behavior –they bark and bow-wow whenever they see him. One night, his boy Max follows Fabio and sees Fabio hanging out with cats. Max learns that Fabio likes to chase mice, climb drainpipes, and play with yarn.