It helps kids if we reinforce that every child learns (valuable) life lessons as he or she grows up. And growing up sometimes isn’t easy. Reading picture books about growing up and being true to yourself can help. Here’s a batch of newly published titles that hit the right spot.
Picture Books about Growing Up and Being Yourself (Fall 2017)
You’ll love these cutest photographs of guinea pigs who illuminate this funny story about three sisters who when one gets something, like glasses, the others copy her — with glasses, dresses, and handbags. Until they finally realize they all need different things, they don’t need to copy. At least until Nora Jane gets a necklace . . . Added to 11 Picture Books About Kids Wearing Glasses
This simple book of friendship shows that our uniquenesses add value to our friendships. Lee is a pea who has a lot of pea friends as well as a carrot friend named Colin. Even though Colin can’t roll or bounce like the peas, he makes an excellent tower, bridge, and slide, something his pea friends like.
Sparkle Boy by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Maria Mola BEING YOURSELF
Casey loves playing with puzzles and trucks but he also loves glittery things, too like his shimmery skirt and bracelet. His family accepts him for who he is, especially his sister, which is an awesome example of unconditional love.
Black Belt Bunny is fast and strong with amazing kicks and backflips. He likes what he’s good at and does not want to learn . . . how to make a salad. “I know it isn’t easy, but everyone has to learn new things.” And he tries and it goes well! Finally, in the perfect serendipitous ending, Bunny learns he’s not the only person a bit nervous about trying new things.
Cengdu’s a young panda bear who, like many readers, can do a lot of things by himself. Jump. Climb. Swing. Of course sometimes, just like you, he could use a little help. It’s a sweet story of growing independence with beautiful watercolor illustrations and fold-out pages.
Sarabella’s mind is filled with her wonderful imaginings which is wonderful most of the time, just not at school. When her teacher assigns the class homework to draw their favorite daydream, Sarabella thinks of so many things. To show her class, she makes her daydreams into a spectacular hat. This is a great example of the creativity in divergent brains, I’m specifically thinking of children with ADHD.
A cute little red-haired girl narrates a day in her life from breakfast to bed. On each page, she’s lost something and needs your help to find it. Compare your life and hers as you seek and search through the pages.
Melissa Taylor, MA, is the creator of Imagination Soup. She's a mother, teacher, author, and freelance writer. She writes Imagination Soup and freelances for publications online and in print, including Sylvan Learning, Random House, USA Today Health, The Writer, and Scholastic Parent and Child.