Best Children's Books About Being different

86+ Children's Books About Being different

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
The Kid and the Chameleon Sleepover (Time to Read, Level 3) book
#76
The Kid and the Chameleon Sleepover (Time to Read, Level 3)
Written by Sheri Mabry and illustrated by Joanie Stone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Tessy is so excited to have a sleepover with Newton, full of midnight snacks and bedtime stories and pillow fights. But Newton just wants to sleep! Can the friends find a way for both of them to have fun?

Gloria Takes a Stand book
#77
Gloria Takes a Stand
Written by Jessica M. Rinker and illustrated by Daria Peoples
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Throughout Gloria Steinem’s life, she stood up for many things. In a time when most women didn’t go to college, Gloria knew the importance of education and studied at Smith College. In a time when almost all women stayed at home to raise a family, Gloria traveled to India and wrote about what she learned there. In a time when many people were fighting for equality, Gloria wanted to write about these important events. And as she heard more and more stories from women who didn’t have as many rights as men, Gloria decided to start Ms. Magazine to give women a voice. This text introduces a new generation of children to Gloria Steinem, the icon who fought for a better world for all women—and encourages all readers to "stand up and speak for equal rights for all people."

The Kid and the Chameleon (Time to Read, Level 3) book
#78
The Kid and the Chameleon (Time to Read, Level 3)
Written by Sheri Mabry and illustrated by Joanie Stone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

When Tessy meets Newton the chameleon, she wants to be friends, but she only wants to do kid things, like ride bikes and eat cookies. Newton is far more interested in chameleon things, like changing colors and sitting on rocks for a long, long time. Can Tessy and Newton find ways to overcome their differences?

All Kids Are Good Kids book
#79
All Kids Are Good Kids
Written by Judy Carey Nevin and illustrated by Susie Hammer
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

This sweet board book celebrates different types of children that have one important thing in common: they’re all good kids—and every kid is one of a kind. Tall kids, short kids, Build a pillow fort kids. Shy kids, glad kids, Love to belly laugh kids. No two kids are alike and this charming story celebrates those special differences that make kids both unique and similar. Judy Carey Nevin’s bouncing text paired with Susie Hammer’s brilliant and bright art proves that while children may appear to be different, they also enjoy many of the same things. It’s these shared differences and similarities that make every kid one of a kind.

It Feels Good to Be Yourself book
#80
It Feels Good to Be Yourself
Written by Theresa Thorn and illustrated by Noah Grigni
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.

Penny and Penelope book
#81
Penny and Penelope
Written by Dan Richards and illustrated by Claire Almon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Two girls on a play date learn there’s more to each other than meets the eye with a little help from their dolls in this exciting picture book adventure. Penny and Penelope are very different dolls. Penelope is a sweet princess, while Penny is a fierce secret agent. Penelope wants to ride her pony through the countryside, while Penny wants to wrestle alligators. How can they possibly get along playing in an imaginary kingdom? Luckily, Penny and Penelope are more than their packaging. After all, you can’t judge a doll by its outfit.

No Boring Stories! book
#82
No Boring Stories!
Written by Julie Falatko and illustrated by Charles Santoso
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A group of misfits takes a stand against sweet, cuddly, boring stories in this picture book by the critically acclaimed author of the Snappsy the Alligator series, Julie Falatko. The unpopular animals have had enough. They want to be in a picture book! Stories about mommy-loving kitties and cuddly bunnies at bedtime are boring. Wouldn’t you rather hear about yeti crabs in robo suits and fierce babirusa princesses who fight giant grape monsters?! This group of misfits has a unique story to tell, but they’ll never finish writing it if their over-eager bunny neighbor won’t GO AWAY! Julie Falatko, critically acclaimed author of the Snappsy the Alligator books, brings her signature humor to this stand-alone picture book about finding your tribe and writing the stories you want to see, no matter how weird or wild they are!

I Look Up To... Malala Yousafzai book
#83
I Look Up To... Malala Yousafzai
Written by Anna Membrino and illustrated by Fatti Burke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

If you can see it, you can be it! Introduce your child to powerful feminist role models with this series of inspirational board books. It's never too early to introduce your child to the people you admire--such as Malala Yousafzai, the activist for girls' education and Nobel Peace Prize winner! This board book distills Malala's excellent qualities into an eminently sharable read-aloud text with graphic, eye-catching illustrations. Each spread highlights an important trait, and is enhanced by a quote from Malala herself. Kids will grow up hearing the words of this inspiring woman and will learn what YOU value in a person! The I LOOK UP TO... series aims to shed a spotlight on women making a difference in the world today, and to encourage young kids to follow in their footsteps! Look for other books in the series about Michelle Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Serena Williams!

Maybe the Moon book
#84
Maybe the Moon
Written and illustrated by Frances Ives
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Maybe the Moon tells the story of Eric, a little boy who loves his life in his forest home with his animal friends for company. When he moves to the city, he sets about searching for happiness in a strange new environment. Eric's journey shows him that whatever the differences between people and places, we are all united and are never alone when we share the same moon. Frances Ives' beautiful illustrations bring to life this charming story that features a rhyming refrain to enchant both children and parents alike.

When Grandad Was a Penguin book
#85
When Grandad Was a Penguin
Written and illustrated by Morag Hood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Last time I went to see Grandad, he seemed a little different. What do you do when your Grandad starts acting VERY much like a penguin? Find out in this brilliantly funny and heartwarming story from talented author and illustrator, Morag Hood. Boys and girls alike will love the witty, sweet and brilliantly surreal depiction of everyday settings and situations in this fish-out-of-water story with a difference. When Grandad was a Penguin is perfect for sharing with children (and grandads) young and old. Morag Hood's artwork is gorgeously bold and stylish and her illustrative talent and keen eye for design won her a place as runner up in The Macmillan Prize for Illustration.

Some People Do book
#86
Some People Do
Written by Frank Lowe and illustrated by Josh Hara
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

As a parent, discussing diversity with your child can be difficult, especially if you have your own questions. Some People Do boils this topic down to provide the simplest of answers. By the time your child finishes reading this book, they will have been introduced to all facets of people, without any one being more revered than the other.

A Bad Case of Stripes book
#87
A Bad Case of Stripes
Written and illustrated by David Shannon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In order to ensure her popularity, Camilla Cream always does what is expected, until the day arrives when she no longer recognizes herself.

Mary Wears What She Wants book
#88
Mary Wears What She Wants
Written and illustrated by Keith Negley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Once upon a time (but not too long ago), girls only wore dresses. And only boys wore pants. Until one day, a young girl named Mary had a bold idea: She would wear whatever she wanted. And she wanted to wear pants! Inspired by the true story of Mary Edwards Walker, a trailblazing doctor who was arrested many times for wearing pants, this fresh, charming picture book encourages readers to think for themselves while gently challenging gender and societal norms.

It's Okay To Be Different book
#89
It's Okay To Be Different
Written and illustrated by Todd Parr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

It's okay to need some help. It's okay to be a different color. It's okay to talk about your feelings.

Song of the Dolphin Boy book
#90
Song of the Dolphin Boy
Written by Elizabeth Laird
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Finn has always been different and in the tiny Scottish fishing village of Stromhead, he sticks out like a sore thumb. One day he dives into the sea and finds that, swimming with the dolphins, feels completely like home. But his new friends are in danger of being injured by the rubbish that floats out into the water and now a supermarket is going to release thousands of balloons that could drift out to sea and cause even more damage. Desperate to help the dolphins, Finn goes to the Lighthouse Crew, a group of kids who have always left Finn out. Will they be able to set aside their differences to save the dolphins? And what will Finn discover about his past along the way?

Every Girl Is a Princess book
#91
Every Girl Is a Princess
Written and illustrated by Mylo Freeman
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A charming novelty picture book that will entertain even the youngest readers. Try and match each crown with a princess - and then see who appears on the final page!

Lost. Found. book
#92
Lost. Found.
Written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

On a wintry day, a bear loses his soft red scarf. The wind carries it *whoosh* to a pair of raccoons who use it to play tug-o-war. When they run off, a beaver dons the scarf as the perfect winter hat...until it gets tangled on a tree branch. The scarf is lost and found by a series of animals, including a fox and a couple of rascally squirrels, who use it as everything from a swing to a trampoline. When all the animals lay claim to the scarf at once, calamity ensues that can only be fixed by a bear, a little patience, and friendship, in this nearly wordless, clever picture book.

The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito book
#93
The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito
Written by Tomson Highway and illustrated by Sue Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Timely, Fun, Challenging and Wise! Tomson Highway's musical cabaret, The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, couldn't be more vividly presented unless you were sitting in the middle seat of the front row watching the Cree playwright, performer, musician and poet himself. The story of a wingless little mosquito from Manitoba has all the whimsy and wise humour any audience could ask for. The ageless theme of a misfit, who finds her voice through song and who learns to make friends by communicating directly with her audience, is a timely treat for anyone who has felt like an outsider, dealt with bullying, moved to a new place, or was different from the rest of the pack. The entire script is here, complete with song lyrics, stage directions, Cree vocabulary, and challenging tongue twisters to delight all ages. A perfect book for drama students, teachers, and theatre enthusiasts, this beautiful full-colour volume serves as an interactive read-aloud for the young, or a great way to introduce students to the joys of staging a musical production.

Ready or Not, Woolbur Goes to School! book
#94
Ready or Not, Woolbur Goes to School!
Written by Leslie Helakoski and illustrated by Lee Harper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The free-spirited, fluffy, one-of-a-kind sheep Woolbur is on his way to school, and he’s MORE than ready… But Maa and Paa aren’t so sure. What if Woolbur isn’t exactly ready for school? He’s different. He’s unusual. And his new hairdo is kooky! At school, Woolbur loves trying new things like drawing outside of the lines and eating grass. (No wonder his parents were worried!) The rest of his classmates are nervous about their first day and aren’t excited about trying anything new. Will Woolbur’s excitement help show his friends that doing something different, or unusual, or kooky is the best way to get ready for school? This charming yet spunky follow-up to the beloved Woolbur is the perfect gift for children who march to the beat of their own drum or anyone who needs a little encouragement on their first day of school.

The Smallest Elephant in the World book
#95
The Smallest Elephant in the World
Written by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Milton Glaser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Mocked throughout the jungles of India, the smallest elephant in the world-no bigger than a house cat-has decided enough is enough. If he's no bigger than a house cat, then a house is where he belongs! After a long journey, this smallest elephant in the world finds himself a home with a nice little boy inside. Unfortunately, the boy's mother doesn't believe elephants make suitable house pets... First published in 1959, The Smallest Elephant in the World, written by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Milton Glaser, is a witty, sweet, and funny tale of friendship, unlikely disguise, and the search for home.

The Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff book
#96
The Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff
Written by Nate Evans, Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Read this sweet New York Times bestselling series from the author of If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Mouse a Brownie, and other beloved books. The Jellybeans are off to summer camp to enjoy ghost stories around the campfire, roasting marshmallows, and swimming in the lake. Each girl finds her own favorite activity: Emily goes to the dance studio, Bitsy does arts and crafts, and Anna reads about nature. But Nicole can't find anything that's just right for her. So she decides to start a soccer team and teach her friends her favorite game. Will the Jellybeans be able to win the big match against a neighboring camp? Once again, the girls use their different strengths and talents to work together and have the best summer ever. This third book in the successful New York Times bestselling series shows that, whether readers are girly girls, bookworms, artists, or tomboys, there is a Jellybean for everyone.

That's What Wings Are For book
#97
That's What Wings Are For
Written by Patrick Guest and illustrated by Daniella Germain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

There are three things that all respectable dragons need: strong wings for flying, strong lungs for breathing fire, and strong, shiny scales. But Bluey the Dragon has none of these. Even so, Bluey has other abilities, some of them truly wonderful--if only he can work out what they are! That's What Wings Are For is a touching fable about discovering that thing that you do the best, and finding a way to do it.

I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard book
#98
I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard
Written and illustrated by Jennifer K Mann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Rose’s teacher gives stars for spelling and neatness and giving the right answer, but Rose can’t manage to do any of those things right. Will she ever get a star from Mrs. Benson? Rose is a distracted and creative soul. She does her best at school, but sometimes her mind wanders, and she answers the wrong question. Her reading voice is quiet, not strong and loud. And her desk?—?well, keeping her desk neat is a challenge. When it’s time to make thank-you cards for a class visitor, Rose’s art supplies turn her workspace?—and her?—?into a colorful mess. But her artistic skills shine through in the gorgeous oversize card she creates. Could she possibly get a star after all? A cheerful and empowering picture book for the child whose talents lie in unconventional areas, and those still searching for their strengths.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes on book
#99
Marcel the Shell with Shoes on
Written and illustrated by Dean Fleischer-Camp, Jenny Slate
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

View our feature on Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp’s Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. Millions of people have fallen in love with Marcel. Now the tiny shell with shoes and a big heart is transitioning from online sensation to classic picture book character, and readers can learn more about this adorable creature and his wonderfully peculiar world. From wearing a lentil as a hat to hang-gliding on a Dorito, Marcel is able to find magic in the everyday. He may be small, but he knows he has a lot of good qualities. He may not be able to lift anything by himself, but when he needs help, he calls upon his family. He may never be able own a real dog . . . but he has a pretty awesome imagination.

Judy Moody and Friends: Not-So-Lucky Lefty book
#100
Judy Moody and Friends: Not-So-Lucky Lefty
Written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Erwin Madrid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Left-handers are creative. Left-handers are geniuses. Half of all cats are lefties! (Or so says Stink.) But Judy is a righty . . . and Judy is feeling left out. Tomorrow is Left Handers Day, and Stink and Dad, the southpaws in the Moody family, are celebrating at the pretzel factory. Judy is allowed to come along on one condition: she has to be lefthanded—the whole entire day. It’s on

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