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Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Five Books That Teach Children About Caring And Giving

By Lee Scott, Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

Educators have long known that storytelling is an essential part of learning. Stories help children absorb information and connect the story to their experiences. Here are five books that teach the lessons of caring and giving in an engaging manner:

  1. Giving Thanks by Katherine Paterson (Author), Pamela Dalton (Illustrator)

Giving Thanks by Katherine Paterson (Author), Pamela Dalton (Illustrator)

2. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett (Author), Jon Klassen (Illustrator)

Extra Yarn children's book cover

3. Boxes for Katie by Candice Fleming

Boxes for Katje Book Cover

4. When Stories Fell Like Shooting Stars, Valiska Gregory

When Stories Fell Like Shooting Stars, Valiska Gregory

5. Random Acts, More Random Acts, –and– Kids Random Acts of Kindness by Conari Press

Random Acts, More Random Acts, --and-- Kids Random Acts of Kindness by Conari Press

 

Children’s Books About Inclusion and Diversity

By Lee Scott, Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

good way to begin a dialogue with young children about inclusion and diversity is by listening to and reading stories. Engaging young children with stories of people from diverse cultures, backgrounds and races helps extend their understanding of familiar emotions and social behaviors by presenting them in new contexts, as well as providing them with opportunities to encounter emotions and social behaviors that they may not be exposed to in their everyday interactions within their families and communities. This helps promote critical thinking about bias, and it develops children’s ability to stand up for themselves and others in the face of bias 

The following is a compilation of books selected by members of the Educational Advisory Board as well as families who also sent us book ideas that they feel support the understanding of inclusion and empathy. Here is a list of 15 books to help launch important conversations: 

Infants and Toddlers

Who Toes Are Those? by Jabari Asim is a tickle and giggle book with beautiful baby’s brown toes.

Whos Toes Are Those Book CoverTen Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox is a wonderful celebration of babies from all over the world.

Ten Littler Fingers and Ten Little Toes children's book cover

Dream Big Little One by Vashti Harrison shares the inspirational stories of powerful black women in history.

Dream Big Little One Children's Book Cover

Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora is a cheerful book that all babies will enjoy. 

PeekABoo Morning Children's Book Cover

Who? A Celebration of Babies by Robie Harris is just that, a wonderful book featuring babies’ first words. 

Who? Baby book cover

Preschoolers to Kindergarteners 

We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Kates (Sesame Street) supports young children’s understanding that although we are different in many ways, we are all the same inside. 

6-different-the-sameLovely by Jess Hong is a celebration of what makes everyone unique and how we all are lovely. 

Lovely child book coverThe Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson supports children as they work through the challenge of not feeling that they fit in or are fearful of new environments. 

The Day You Begin children's book cover

The Family Book by Todd Parr, focuses on how families, although often very different, are alike in love and caring for each other. 

The Family Book children's book cover

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi, explores how children accept cultural differences such as names unfamiliar to them and learning acceptance and friendship. 

The Name Jar book cover

I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët is a heart-warming story about caring for others and standing up to bullying. 

I walk with Vanessa book cover

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman sets the stage for understanding inclusion with a wonderful story about the children in a school. 

All Are Welcome book cover

Say Something by Peter Reynolds shows children how their voices are valued. 

Say Something Children's book cover

Skin Like Mine by LaTishia M. Perry celebrates diversity in an entertaining way for early readers. 

Skin Like Mine Book Cover

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester is a great book to help parents begin the dialogues with their children. 

Let's Talk About Race book cover

Check out more book recommendations from Goddard parents!

Goddard Parents’ Recommendations for Children’s Books about Diversity and Inclusion

We asked Goddard parents to send us their favorite books about diversity and inclusion to feature alongside the recommendations from our Educational Advisory Board. Here are some of their top picks:

*I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët is a heartwarming story about caring for others and standing up to bullying.

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*The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi explores how children come to celebrate cultural differences, such as names that are unfamiliar to them, and learn about acceptance and friendship.

The Name Jar book cover

The Little People Big Dreams series includes books about notable black men and women in history, such as the volumes Martin Luther King & Harriet Tubman by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Pili Aguado and Rosa Parks by Lisbeth Kaiser and Marta Antelo.

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Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel and Shane W. Evans is a book filled with joy and the freedom of expression in a young girl’s life.

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*All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman sets the stage for understanding inclusion with a wonderful story about the children in a school.

All Are Welcome book cover

I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo supports children in overcoming bullying and loving who you are.

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It’s Ok to Be Different by Sharon Purtill and Sujata Saha encourages young children to be kind and embrace the uniqueness of one another.

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*Say Something! by Peter H. Reynolds shows children how their voices are valued.

Say Something Children's book cover

A Is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara teaches the alphabet by highlighting the importance of standing up for what you believe.

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Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw is an engaging tale of two pen pals from different cultures who share similar lives.

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*Also recommended by The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board

Click here for more book recommendations from our Educational Advisory Board.

Five Books That Help Children Understand Different Types of Families

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By Lee Scott, Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

Listening to stories is an essential early literacy and social-emotional development activity that should begin in infancy. Stories help children learn about emotions and social behavior as well as new things they are not exposed to in their environments or communities. The characters within each story give children a framework for developing essential social skills – cooperation, collaboration, listening and taking turns. 

We often rely on storytelling to help children, and adults, understand new concepts or experiences. One of the topics that comes up often in early childhood education is different types of families. Younger children are more flexible about family structures but still may have questions when family structures appear different from their own. We selected a few books to help parents and teachers explain different family types.

Molly’s Family by Nancy Garden, illustrated by Sharon Wooding

molly's mom children's book cover

A young girl learns how to talk about her family with two moms in school. At first, it is difficult, but her teacher helps along the way. This story is very helpful for giving children ways to answer the question “Why do you have two moms?”

Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson

Mommy, mamma and me children's book cover

We like this book because it goes through daily routines in a playful rhyming manner. It’s great for young ones! These artists also created a book entitled Daddy, Papa, and Me

The Family Book by Todd Parr

family book children's book cover

We love the fun illustrations in this book. It focuses on how families, although often very different, are alike in love and caring for each other. This is my go-to book for beginning conversations about families.

In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco

In our mother's house children's book cover

This is a story of family events with a family with two moms. It is full of fun and memorable family events along with acceptance within the neighborhood. It’s good for older children since it is a little long.

Home at Last by Vera B. Williams, illustrated by Vera B. Willams and Chris Raschka

Home at last children's book cover

This is a story about same-sex-parent adoption and a little boy. The dog is the best part of the story, helping the child feel at home. It’s great for adopted children. I read this to a class a few years ago and it really helped them understand the different types of families in the class.

Engaging Children in Caring for the Environment

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by Lee Scott, Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

I always go for the humorous and well-illustrated books to help children learn key messages. When I was writing the tips and activities for the United Nations sustainable goals for early learning, https://www.allaboardforglobalgoals.com/en-us, I tried to ensure the activities were fun, playful and engaging. Children learn best through play as well as relatable characters. In addition to Thomas and His Friends, I have a few favorite books that I think your family will enjoy this spring to celebrate Earth Day and more. These books are especially appropriate for the sustainable goals of no. 6 – clean waterno. 11 – sustainable cities and communities, no. 12 – responsible consumption and production and no. 15 – life on land. 

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George Saves The World By Lunchtime by Jo Readman 

This cute story inspires all children to recycle and reuse. I love the illustrations and how determined little George is to make a difference. 

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Charlie and Lola: We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers by Lauren Child  

Get ready to tickle your funny bone with the antics of Lola and her brother. I hope children get inspired to recycle their own toys and other items. 

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The Wartville Wizard, by Don Madden 

Imagine all of your trash sticking to you. That is what children learn about when reading this whimsical tale. It is great book to help children discover personal responsibly and how their behaviors can affect others. 

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All the Water in the World, by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson 

Amazing illustrations and wonderful rhythmic prose guide children through the water cycle and our most precious resource, water. I love the diagrams. The book flows like the water. 

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Don’t Throw That Away, by Lara Bergen and Betsy Snyder 

This book is part of the Little Green series which contains other fun books about the environment. I especially like this one because the little girl is easy to relate to and most children can do similar things with the objects they find at home or in school. 

  

Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member Lee Scott’s Favorite Children’s Books

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By Lee Scott
Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

Trying to narrow down all the books to my top three is a difficult task. I love children’s literature and how it is one of the best learning tools we have. I have always said, “Give me a great book and some recycled materials, and I can teach from that book for a week.” That approach is the foundation for The Goddard School Life Lesson Library. We have so many wonderful stories to choose from that were submitted by Goddard faculty members across the country. However, since the task is to narrow it down to three, here it goes.

The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway. I love this story, not just because it was written and wonderfully illustrated by my amazing cousin John, but also because it is an original “it takes a village” story. Everyone works together to solve a problem using their unique skills and talents. It is a story of overcoming a fear and of collaboration, engineering, humor and creativity. You truly can teach from this book for a week.

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The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. This book is now a classic tale of hope and belief. It also teaches the consequences of good and bad behaviors. My husband read this to our boys every Christmas. Even though they are grown, we still put the book out every year. The other part of this story is the wonderment at the engineering, science and technology in Santa’s village. I also love how the story emphasizes caring for others and appreciating the uniqueness of each person. There is a lot one can learn from this book.

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One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey. Since I’m from Maine, this is one of my favorite stories, and I have enjoyed all of McCloskey’s award-winning books for years. Although written many years ago, this tale is still relevant today. Sal learns to overcome losing a tooth, explores the world around her and becomes creative as she plays along the coast of Maine. I also appreciate big sister Sal helping her little sister Jane. It is a fairly long story for little ones, so I recommend reading it in parts.

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Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member Helen Hadani’s Favorite Children’s Books

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By Helen Hadani, Ph.D.
Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

My two daughters are now teenagers, but I still remember our overflowing bookshelves filled with picture books and stories that my husband and I read to our children more times than we care to remember. Here are three of my favorites: 

  • Hug (Jez Alborough) – This sweet picture book was a favorite in our house for many years. Bobo, a baby monkey, is in desperate need of a hug and visits his animal friends one by one, imploring, “Hug” with a sweet and puzzled expression. Time after time, he is turned away, so he continues his journey through the jungle. The book contains only three words – “hug, Bobo and mommy. The magic of the story is in the endearing expressions of the animals and the touching ending when Bobo finally gets a hug from his mommy. Since there are few words in the book, you tell the story a bit differently every time, and as children get older, they start to tell some of the story themselves;  

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  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Mo Willems) – It is hard to pick a favorite Mo Willems book, but this one holds many special (and funny) memories for me. I can still remember my youngest daughter Grace yelling, “Noooo!” at the top of her lungs while reading this book (at bedtime, no less). The book starts with a bus driver asking your child to keep an eye on things while he’s gone and, most importantlydon’t let the pigeon drive the bus! The very clever and persuasive pigeon then tries to bribe and persuade your child to let him drive the bus. Lastly, he resorts to throwing an all-out tantrum and yells, “LET ME DRIVE THE BUS!” It’s such an engaging book that turns the tables and puts your child in charge; 

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  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Judith Viorst) – When my husband and I met, I remember him telling me that this was one of his favorite children’s books. I had, of course, read it as a child and remembered liking it, but it wasn’t until I started to read it to our daughters Ruby and Grace that I came to appreciate the message. Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair, and that is just the start of his very bad day. Everyone has bad days, and it often made me feel better reading this story to our girls so they knew why Mom or Dad might have been short with them or just out of sorts. It also helped to read the book when I knew that one (or both) of them had had a particularly challenging day. Also, the part about “third-best-friend status” always made us laugh.  

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Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member Jennifer Jipson’s Favorite Children’s Books

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By Jennifer Jipson, Ph.D.

Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

I delight in collecting picture books that teach, inspire, entertain and motivate. March is both National Reading Month and Women’s History Month, so I’ll share a few books that celebrate women’s accomplishments and inspire little ones to do big things. I hope you and your children enjoy these as much I do.

  • My Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream? by Jennifer Fosberry and Mike Litwin – In this book, Isabella imagines herself to be famous women throughout history, such as Sally Ride, Marie Curie and Rosa Parks. As you read it with your child, you will learn about how these women changed the world in their own unique ways. This is achieved with a story that is filled with humor, clever writing and engaging illustrations that provide clues about who Isabella will pretend to be next. My well-worn copy of this book is evidence of how much my family delighted in Isabella’s enthusiasm for the extraordinary achievements of women. As a developmental psychologist, I feel good that I exposed my children to role models who counteract racial and gender stereotypes;

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  • The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds – In The Dot, readers meet Vashti, a fictional young girl who is self-critical and thinks she can’t draw. One day, her teacher encourages her to make a dot with a pencil on a blank page, asks her to sign it and then frames and displays it. Her teacher’s support sparks Vashti’s confidence in her own creativity, and she goes on to paint more and more dots in increasingly innovative ways. Vashti embraces her newly unleashed creativity and inspires other children to do the same. In addition to highlighting a valuable lesson about overcoming insecurities, this book inspires children to engage in creative activities. Many schools celebrate Dot Day in which children make and display their own versions of dot paintings. At my house, our refrigerator once became a dot gallery that showcased and celebrated the creativity of our family members;

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  • Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed and Stasia Burrington – This picture book tells the story of Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to go to space. It’s an inspiring story about how Mae pursued her dream of becoming an astronaut even when others teased her or doubted her abilities. The message of staying true to yourself and persisting in achieving your goals is powerful. Another reason that I love this book is because it provides a compelling example of a woman who overcame racial and gender stereotypes to achieve her dream. Families can use this book as an opportunity to talk about prejudice and to bring to light the achievements of women of color in the sciences. Research in child development shows that openness to exploring these topics is of critical importance in helping children develop positive attitudes about diversity, yet only about 10% of families have these conversations. There are many online resources available that can help guide parents in talking about race with children.

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10 Valentine’s Day Books That Teach Kids How Wonderful It is to Love

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Because February 14 is so much more than red hearts and candy.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and like every other holiday season, it’s the perfect time to captivate your kids through stories of delight. From tales about robotic romantic adventures, to a whimsical story about secret letters, these heartwarming books will teach your child about the many ways to express love, especially amongst family and friends.

I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home, by Kathryn Cristaldi and Kristyna Litten

Love knows no bounds in this delightful read aloud that sends cows to Mars and has sheep steering ships. Fun wordplay and a rhyming refrain will soon have little ones chiming in. Perfect for Valentine’s Day or saying I love you any time of year. Ages 4-8 ($15, amazon.com).

I Love You, Little Pookie, by Sandra Boynton


I Love You, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton

With an affectionate tale and funny drawings, this book is ideal for little ones.

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Bestselling author Sandra Boynton is back with a new board book, just in time for the holiday of love. Little Pookie is one of Boynton’s most beloved characters and he is reassured over and over as mom tells him just how much she loves him on nearly every sturdy page. Ages 2-5 ($6, amazon.com).

Robot in Love, by T. L. McBeth


Robot in Love by T. L. McBeth

A robot love story with a splash of color that’ll surely catch your child’s eye.

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It’s love at first sight in this playful picture book about a robot who spots his soulmate, loses her and then finds her again. Love can look different for every one of us, and in this case the robot’s object of affection is a shiny toaster with whom he discovers various shared interests. Including toast. Very sweet! Ages 4-8 ($13, amazon.com).

The Littlest Things Give the Loveliest Hugs, by Mark Sperring and Maddie Frost


The Littlest Things Give the Loveliest Hugs, by Mark Sperring and Maddie Frost

Nothing is cuter than a snuggly tale from your favorite animals.

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Bright and colorful, this picture book celebrates hugs across the animal world. From snuggly seals to beetle bug hugs, these little critters are all happy to be with their families, sharing an embrace. Warm, rhyming text opens the door for telling our own little ones how much their hugs mean to us. Ages 3-6 ($13, amazon.com).

How Do I Love Thee? by Jennifer Adams and Christopher Silas Neal


How Do I Love Thee? by Jennifer Adams and Christopher Silas Neal

A sweet ode to beloved friends and family.

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A delightful reimagining of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnet 43” with its famous opening lines, as a trio of children explore their world and the love of friends and family around them. Christopher Silas Neal’s illustrations carry the poetry of Browning’s words beautifully. A book to keep … Ages 4-8 ($16, amazon.com).

Love, Z, by Jessie Sima


Love, Z by Jessie Sima

Home is where the heart is in this adorable adventure.

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A mysterious message in a bottle and the young robot who finds it spark a remarkable exploration of what love means, and all the ways we can express love for one another. Charming and uplifting, this picture book is a joy to read and share all year round, and especially for Valentine’s Day. Ages 4-8 ($13, amazon.com).

Duck and Hippo The Secret Valentine, by Jonathan London and Andrew Joyner


Duck and Hippo The Secret Valentine, by Jonathan London and Andrew Joyner

This heartfelt story teaches kids about kindness and sharing.

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It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without valentines! A humorous story of secret valentines and speculation that culminates in a delightful heart-filled celebration where everyone is welcomed. An entertaining holiday read aloud. Ages 3-7 ($14, amazon.com).

Mirabel’s Missing Valentines, by Janet Lawler and Olivia Chin Mueller


Mirabel's Missing Valentines by Janet Lawler and Olivia Chin Mueller

A spark of unexpected kindness can bring the best of joy in this story.

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Giving Valentine’s Day cards to classmates can be scary, and Mirabel the mouse is so nervous that she accidentally drops some of her cards on the way to school. Her mistake brings some folks unexpected moments of joy thinking the cards were meant for them. A sweet story about how a small kindness can make a big difference for others and ourselves. Ages 3-7 ($12, amazon.com).

A Caboodle of Cuddles, by Roger Priddy


A Caboodle of Cuddles by Roger Priddy

A visually captivating book with raised pictures for your child to check out on every page.

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Perfect for tiny hands to explore, this board book about cuddles and families has bright, raised illustrations that fit together for lots of interactive fun. A Valentine’s Day treat for little ones. Ages 1-3 ($8, amazon.com).

A Hug is for Holding Me, by Lisa Wheeler and Lisk Feng


A Hug Is for Holding Me by Lisa Wheeler and Lisk Feng

Your child’s curiosity will surge as they explore the meaning of hugs in this lyrical tale.

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A unique way of looking at nature, where hugs can be found nearly everywhere if we know how to look. A nest can be a hug in a tree, a seashell is a hug in the sea; each page is thoughtful and will help little ones see their world in a whole new way. Interspersed between the pages about nature are all the things a hug between this father and daughter mean to them: safety, home, love. A tender tribute to the humble hug. Ages 3-5 ($11, amazon.com).

 

This article was written by Seira Wilson of Amazon.com from Working Mother and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

12 Children’s Books That Celebrate Diversity and Differences

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We live in a diverse world, which makes fitting in and finding a place in your community a little easier. That doesn’t mean that children (and adults) don’t still struggle with it, though. Help your children channel empathy for others or navigate uncomfortable situations by reading one of these great books.

  1. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
    This story follows a group of children through their day at a school where everyone is different and everyone is welcome.

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  1. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López
    “There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you” starts this book about accepting your differences and being brave because you embrace yourself.

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  1. Lovely by Jess Hong
    In this book, everyone is lovely, no matter what size, shape or color they are!

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  1. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
    New to America, Unhei wants to choose an American name to fit in. Her classmates are eager to help and fill a jar with suggestions. Unhei tries out names like Suzy and Amanda, but none seem to fit. When a classmate visits Unhei at home and learns the special meaning of her name, the name jar disappears and Unhei decides her name is perfect.

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  1. Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
    After seeing three women dressed up as beautiful mermaids, Julián is mesmerized and decides that he, too, is a mermaid.

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  1. Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship by Jessica Walton and Dougal MacPherson
    This story follows a day in the life of Errol and his teddy bear, Thomas. One day, Thomas tells Errol that he wishes his name were Tilly, not Thomas, because Thomas is a girl teddy bear.

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  1. Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer and Holly Clifton-Brown
    Stella’s school is having a Mother’s Day celebration, but Stella doesn’t have a mom. She has two amazing dads!

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  1. Meet Clarabelle Blue by Adiba Nelson, Elvira Morando and Ilene Serna
    Clarabelle Blue may use a wheelchair, but she’s not defined by it. Clarabelle is just like other children.

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  1. Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
    This beautifully illustrated and lyrical book is about immigrating to America. A mother leaves Mexico with only her infant son. Through a public library, she learns how to speak English and how to make a home in a strange place.

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  1. Still a Family: A Story about Homelessness by Brenda Reeves Sturgis and Jo-Shin Lee
    A little girl and her family lose their home. The girl and her mother move into a homeless shelter, but her dad is separated from them because he must live in a men’s shelter. Throughout this book, the little girl reminds herself that no matter what, they are still a family.

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  1. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson
    This story follows CJ and his grandma on their bus ride home from church. CJ has many questions, like why his family doesn’t have a car. Through it all, CJ’s grandma helps him see the beauty in their routine and their world.

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  1. Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan and Mehrdokht Amini
    This beautiful book celebrates and teaches young readers about important elements of Islamic culture through the eyes of a young Muslim girl.

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