I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard the two-word phrase of advice, “be yourself”. But celebrating your own individuality is easier said than done. Sometimes, you feel like you don’t fit in. Other times, you feel invisible or like there’s nothing unique about you.
Being yourself IS the best way to make friends and feel good about yourself, but how do you do that?
Most kids (and many adults) struggle with this to some degree. When my kids need to be reminded that they’re special, we read these books.
Picture Books About Individuality
Thelma wants to be a unicorn. With the help of a strategically placed carrot, some paint, and some glitter, she manages to fool everyone into thinking she is one.
At first, it’s great. She’s famous and adored. But soon, Thelma realizes that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
I loved the way Thelma realized what was truly important and how she learned to accept herself by the end. It’s a nice “the grass isn’t always greener” lesson that kids (and adults) often need to be reminded of.
Larry isn’t like the other lemmings. They all think the same, act the same and look the same. Larry is different, and he sticks out like a sore thumb. However, Larry’s refusal to conform may be the thing that saves the lemmings from an undesirable end.
I love books about individuality. Leaping Lemmings celebrates our differences and encourages kids to find their own voice. It shows us that being unique is a good thing, and it may help others feel brave enough to embrace their own individuality as well.
When five little girls get tired of always being the same, they take matters into their own hands. Even though they are quintuplets, they are still unique individuals with their own dreams, desires, and personalities.
My kids love this book, and I can’t blame them. It’s a simple story, written with short, simple sentences and beautiful illustrations. It celebrates individuality and personality. It delivers the subtle message that everyone is unique, even if others don’t see you that way.
Some books are just destined to be classics. This is one of them. I had a good laugh with my kids when Mr. Tiger takes things “too far”. I also like the way he doesn’t totally give up his old life. He just needs a change, and so he crosses over to
the wild side for a bit.
This book is really cute and will appeal to kids ages 2 and up. Definitely a must-have book for any kid’s home library!
Naked Trevor is a picture book about a little bird that doesn’t want to wear his bird feathers, so he goes in search of something else to wear. His mishaps also manage to give him a unique outfit that other birds soon want to imitate.
I read this book to my kids and they loved it. They especially liked the flaps and the slightly irreverent humor. I liked the bright, vibrant colors and the style of the illustrations. It’s a cute book about being yourself and embracing your individuality.
Rosie is a secret engineer. She became embarrassed after she felt like other people were laughing at her and decided to hide her talent for building things.
This story is an uplifting tale of a quirky young girl learning to accept herself, gain some confidence, and keep forging ahead. Rosie’s story is similar to those of a lot of children. She’s shy and tends to beat herself up for things she perceives as failures.
This is a picture book about passion, dreaming, hard work, and following your heart. It’s a beautiful, simple story about a determined young bear pushing aside her doubt and the negativity of others to let herself shine. Ursa’s Light is perfect if you are looking for an uplifting book about following your dreams, working hard to reach your goals, and accepting yourself the way you are.
“It” is missing a piece and sets off in search of it. After trying out a few pieces, it finds the one that fits perfectly. But sometimes having a missing piece is more fun than having everything perfect.
Other than adoring everything that Shel Silverstein ever wrote, I love this book because of its positive message. It’s about that incomplete feeling we all have and the constant search for something that’s missing. But when we finally locate that missing piece, we often discover we were happier without it.
This is a beautiful story about self-acceptance, adventure, and enjoying the journey of life.
Leo doesn’t need adventure – he gets all the excitement he needs from reading. His parents decide he needs to get out and fight a dragon, so they arm him with a sword and shield and send him off. Being a bookworm, Leo naturally takes a big stack of books with him. He meets many creatures along the way, shares his books, and tames the dragon.
This is a sweet story and a wonderful companion to The Snatchabook. It’s a great reminder that dragon taming is different for everyone. If you stay true to yourself and follow your heart, you can be a hero in your own way.
Crispin can’t breathe fire like the other dragons. Instead, when he opens his mouth, everything from marshmallows to party streamers come out! Ashamed, Crispin runs away and meets a young knight also searching for his place in the world.
I love the message in this children’s book. Most people feel like an outcast at one point or another, in search of a place to belong. No Ordinary Dragon reassures kids and helps them understand that being different isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes, the very thing that makes you different can save your bacon.
Don’t read this book without a box of tissues nearby.
This is such a beautiful story. Punchinello is an outcast who decides he doesn’t want other people’s opinions to affect him. It gets my kids to tear up every time we read it. I love the message of faith and hope. It’s one of the best picture books about individuality and self-esteem that I own.
When Franklin’s friends start bragging about the amazing things they can do, Franklin feels like he doesn’t measure up—so he lies. He tells a whopper that is so outlandish, nobody believes him. When he finally decides to tell his friends the truth, he realizes that he has a special talent he can be proud of.
Franklin is a favorite character for many kids (including mine) and we love reading about his many exploits. His experiences resonate with my kids. Franklin Fibs is a great example of a child learning to accept himself and be proud of his unique abilities. It’s also a great lesson in being truthful.
When all the zoo animals want to have a swimming contest, Giraffe decides to sit it out, even though the other animals tease him. We soon find out why Giraffe didn’t want to participate — and the reason may surprise you.
My kids and I love this book. Giraffe didn’t let the other animals ruffle him. He knew that his particular skills might be needed and he didn’t let peer pressure get to him. Because of his level head and courage, the other animals learn to respect him.
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