Last month I wrote a letter to my daughter and encouraged her to “stay weird.” One of my friends who has a pre-teen daughter mentioned that as kids get older, it’s harder for them to hold onto their quirks and individuality.
I started thinking that maybe a blog post [that my five-year-old can't read yet] might not be enough to help my silly little girl love herself, quirks and all.
The way we approach most any big topic in our family is to find a book (or 10) to read about it. Obedience, playing well with others, stranger danger – you name it, we’ve used books to prompt conversations and [hopefully] life change.
So I did not pass go and went directly to Annalyn’s bookshelf. I pulled out all the books we’ve read about being yourself, and then I did a little Googling to see if I’d missed any that we’d borrowed from the library but didn’t own.
I didn’t find a huge stack of books, but that’s okay. I love the books on this list – and I’m now more motivated than ever to find additional, similarly themed books!
Children’s Books About Being Yourself
Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Hello?! A book about PUNCTUATION?! This is actually the book that gave me the idea to write this post. “He stood out here. He stood out there. He tried everything to be more like them.” The exclamation mark really wants to be like the other punctuation marks, but eventually he realizes that being himself is a whole lot of fun. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.
Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: While I don’t get quite as excited about silverware as I do punctuation, I still adore this little book. Spoon thinks all the other utensils have it better than him, that they’re so much more cool. His mom gently points out all the ways he’s special, and he realizes in the end that being Spoon is pretty awesome after all.
Oooooh, look! There’s another place setting picture book! Chopsticks is about friendship, so a whole other topic. Still, I’m putting this one on our to-read list now.
Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el: This book is adorable and Annalyn loved it. Crispin the little dragon doesn’t breathe fire like Every Other Dragon. He breathes cotton balls, bubbles, Band-Aids and more – but all he wants to do is breathe fire! Of course, he figures out ways his unique talent is better than being like everyone else. I think I’m going to get this one from the library again!
Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer: I’m going to be honest. Some Olivia books really get on my nerves. But this one is my favorite. The sassy little pig is sick and tired of princess play. EVERYONE wants to be a princess, so she must be something different! I love her confidence in this book; it’s not at obnoxious levels like in some others and makes a clear case for standing out and being different.
The Jellybeans Books by Laura Numeroff and Nate Evans: Okay, fine, you got me. I love these books so much that I’m going to fit them into every list I ever make. If you read them, you’d understand! Seriously, though, this series of books about four friends who are different but get along is perfect for illustrating how not only is it acceptable to have your own unique interests and talents, but it’s desirable – and as fun as eating jellybeans!
Quite a few of the books in my list of excellent books for smart girls fit into this category. Here are my favorites:
- Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Stemple
- Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke
- The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke
For more books about being yourself, visit No Time for Flashcards. I’ve put several of these on our to-read list!
And for more books for smart little girls, check out my list here.
What are your favorite children’s books about being different?