Best Children's Books About Being different

86+ Children's Books About Being different

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Blobfish Throws a Party book
#76
Blobfish Throws a Party
Written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Maggie Caton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Introducing Blobfish Throws a Party, a wild and hilarious story from award-winning author Miranda Paul! Blobfish lives at the bottom of the ocean with no lights, no friends, and no delicious treats. The only two ways he can think to change this would be to 1) throw a party, or 2) save the world in true hero style. He decides to do the first one. However, when he announces, "Deep sea party! Bring a treat to share!", the mermaids hear "Cheap, free party! Sling on a sheet to wear!", and the shorebirds hear "Cheep-peep party! Sing a tweet with flair!", and so on. Soon the whole world is partying in strange ways based on what they think they heard, and Blobfish is still sad and alone at the bottom of the sea. Will Blobfish ever get his lights, friends, and delicious treats?

Just Like Rube Goldberg book
#77
Just Like Rube Goldberg
Written by Sarah Aronson and illustrated by Robert Neubecker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Discover how Rube Goldberg followed his dreams to become an award-winning cartoonist, inventor, and even an adjective in the dictionary in this inspiring and funny biographical picture book. Want to become an award-winning cartoonist and inventor? Follow your dreams, just like Rube Goldberg! From a young age, Rube Goldberg had a talent for art. But his father, a German immigrant, wanted Rube to have a secure job. So, Rube went to college and became an engineer. But Rube didn’t want to spend his life mapping sewer pipes. He wanted to follow his passion, so Rube got a low-level job at a newspaper, and from there, he worked his way up, creating cartoons that made people laugh and tickled the imagination. He became known for his fantastic Rube Goldberg machines—complicated contraptions with many parts that performed a simple task in an elaborate and farfetched way. Eventually, his cartoons earned him a Pulitzer Prize and his own adjective in the dictionary. This moving biography is sure to encourage young artists and inventors to pursue their passions.

Muddle & Mo book
#78
Muddle & Mo
Written and illustrated by Nikki Slade Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Muddle is a little confused - is best friend Mo, a duck or a goat? Is Muddle a duck or a goat? Fortunately Mo helps him work everything out. A gentle book about friendship and accepting differences.

Muddle & Mo's Worm Surprise book
#79
Muddle & Mo's Worm Surprise
Written and illustrated by Nikki Slade Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Muddle is planning an extra-special picnic for best friend Mo. Muddle loves worms. Mo does not. Will Mo like Muddle's worm surprise picnic?

Freckleface Strawberry book
#80
Freckleface Strawberry
Written by Julianne Moore and illustrated by LeUyen Pham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Freckleface Strawberry is just like everyone else, except that she has red hair and freckles but when she tries to hide who she is, she learns about true friendship and accepting yourself just as you are.

There's Only One You book
#81
There's Only One You
Written by Deborah Hembrook, Kathryn Heling and illustrated by Rosie Butcher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

"In all the world over, this much is true: You're somebody special. There's only one YOU." Celebrate your individuality with this picture book that honors all the wonderful things that make you . . . you. This feel-good book reassures kids that, whoever and whatever they are, it's awesome being YOU! Expertly written to include all kinds of children and families, it embraces the beauty in a range of physical types, personalities, and abilities. Kids will love discovering and recognizing themselves in these pages--and they'll feel proud to see their special qualities acknowledged. Adorable illustrations by Rosie Butcher show a diverse community that many will find similar to their own.

The Kid and the Chameleon Sleepover (Time to Read, Level 3) book
#82
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
#83
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
#84
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
#85
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
#86
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
#87
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
#88
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
#89
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
#90
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
#91
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
#92
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.

Mary Wears What She Wants book
#93
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
#94
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.

Tacky the Penguin book
#95
Tacky the Penguin
Written by Helen Lester and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Tacky's perfect friends find him annoying until his odd behavior saves the day.

Song of the Dolphin Boy book
#96
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
#97
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
#98
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.

A Bad Case of Stripes book
#99
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.

Ready or Not, Woolbur Goes to School! book
#100
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.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.