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Individuality: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about individuality?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to individuality. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about individuality.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about individuality, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like One of a Kind to popular sellers like The Giver to some of our favorite hidden gems like A Bad Case of Stripes.

We hope this list of kids books about individuality can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Top 10 Books About Individuality

#1
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A Bad Case of Stripes
Written & 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.

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#2
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The Cow Who Climbed a Tree
Written & illustrated by Gemma Merino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Tina isn’t like the other cows. She believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible. But her sisters aren’t convinced—and when Tina tells them she has climbed a tree and met a dragon, they decide that her nonsense has gone too far. Off they go into the woods to find her…and soon discover a world of surprises!

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#3
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A Girl and Her Gator
Written by Sean Bryan & illustrated by Tom Murphy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

One day, a girl discovers an alligator on her head and, although she is afraid her friends will laugh, the ‘gator soon convinces her that she can still give her brother a scare, eat an eclair, and choose anything to wear as long as he is there.

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#4
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The Art of Miss Chew
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She’s thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew’s special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she’s wasting time on art when she should be studying – but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for!

This true story shows just how important a teacher can be in a child’s life – and celebrates the power of art itself.

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#5
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Tacky the Penguin
Written by Helen Lester & illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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

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#6
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Not Your Typical Dragon
Written by Dan Bar-el & illustrated by Tim Bowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When Crispin Blaze turns 7 years old, he’s expected to breathe fire like all the other dragons, but instead of fire, he breathes a host of most unusual things. By the illustrator of Dream Big, Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi.

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#7
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Giraffes Can't Dance
Written by Giles Andreae & illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Gerald the giraffe is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, until he finds the right music. On board pages.

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#8
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Florence Frizzball
Written & illustrated by Claire Freedman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-99

A funny, heart-warming sibling story from Claire Freedman, author of the bestselling Aliens Love Underpants series and picture books Oliver and Patch and The Great Snortle Hunt. Florence’s curly-whirly, wild and crazy hair couldn’t be more different from her brother Ben’s sleek and shiny do. She begs her mum to let a hairdresser try and tame it, but when she gets the restyle she’s after, will Florence be happy with the outcome? Claire Freedman’s rhyming text and Jane Massey’s gorgeous illustrations perfectly combine to create laugh-out-loud moments and deliver an important message about being comfortable in your own skin.

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#9
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Spoon
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & illustrated by Scott Magoon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Thinking that Fork, Knife, and Chopstick have it better than he, Spoon begins to feel down about his status in the utensil world, but when others take the time to show him just how important he is, Spoon quickly comes to realize that being a spoon is the best thing to be after all!

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#10
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Maurice the Unbeastly
Written by Amy Dixon & illustrated by Karl James Mountford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

No ordinary beast, Maurice is neat, polite, photogenic, and his roar is delightful to the ear, which leads his parents to enroll him at the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts, where he realizes he has a few things he can teach his fellow beasts.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Individuality and...

Books About Individuality and Self-discovery

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A Bad Case of Stripes
Written & 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.

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New Kid
Written & illustrated by Jerry Craft
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

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Leaping Lemmings!
Written by John Briggs & illustrated by Nicola Slater
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Lemmings look alike, sound alike, and act alike. So if one jumps off a cliff, the others follow . . . except Larry. Larry s “very” independent-minded. But can he teach his fellow lemmings to think for themselves? John Briggs has created a wonderfully funny, quirky tale about doing your own thing, while Nicola Slater s illustrations capture all the humor and pathos in Larry s situation.”

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  1. Little Juniper Makes It BIG - What Juniper lacks in size, she makes up for in heart. And her heart is dead-set on growing up and getting taller. She’s tired of having to reach for the cookie jar or use a stepping stool for the toilet. Everything in Juniper’s world seems to be made for adults. Ugh! Juniper is industrious, however, and builds several silly contraptions to help reach her goals. But it isn’t until she makes a fun new friend at school, Clove, who is even smaller than Juniper, that she is able to see her world from a new perspective — and appreciate all sizes, big or small. Aidan Cassie, the creator of Sterling, Best Dog Ever, employs her pitch-perfect humor and heartwarming illustrations here again to help little ones love themselves at any size.

  2. You're All Kinds of Wonderful - The beloved, bestselling Nancy Tillman returns with a picture book celebrating what makes every child special in their own way. Part of growing up is discovering—and embracing—what makes us unique. From different abilities to different personalities, we are all wonderfully made with our own bells and whistles.

  3. Most Marshmallows - Most marshmallows are born into marshmallow families, play with marshmallow friends, and go to marshmallow school where they learn to be squishy. Most marshmallows read a book before bed and then fall asleep to dream ordinary marshmallow dreams. Is this book about most marshmallows? It isn’t. Because Rowboat Watkins knows that just like you, some marshmallows have big dreams, and just like you, these marshmallows can do anything they set their minds to. This sweet and silly book is an inspiring reminder that by being true to ourselves each of us can be truly extraordinary.

  4. Black, White, Just Right - A girl explains how her parents are different in color, tastes in art and food, and pet preferences, and how she herself is different too but just right.

Books About Individuality and Siblings

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The Cow Who Climbed a Tree
Written & illustrated by Gemma Merino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Tina isn’t like the other cows. She believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible. But her sisters aren’t convinced—and when Tina tells them she has climbed a tree and met a dragon, they decide that her nonsense has gone too far. Off they go into the woods to find her…and soon discover a world of surprises!

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Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly
Written by Alan Madison & illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Velma starts first grade in the shadow of her memorable older sisters, and while her newfound interest in butterflies helps her to stand out, it also leads to an interesting complication.

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Florence Frizzball
Written & illustrated by Claire Freedman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-99

A funny, heart-warming sibling story from Claire Freedman, author of the bestselling Aliens Love Underpants series and picture books Oliver and Patch and The Great Snortle Hunt. Florence’s curly-whirly, wild and crazy hair couldn’t be more different from her brother Ben’s sleek and shiny do. She begs her mum to let a hairdresser try and tame it, but when she gets the restyle she’s after, will Florence be happy with the outcome? Claire Freedman’s rhyming text and Jane Massey’s gorgeous illustrations perfectly combine to create laugh-out-loud moments and deliver an important message about being comfortable in your own skin.

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  1. Masha and Her Sisters - Meet Masha and her sisters in this charming die-cut novelty board book inspired by Russian nesting dolls. Featuring shaped pages with brightly painted edges, and culminating in a satisfying finale, these nestled dolls reinforce a sweet message: they may be different, but they’re a perfect fit!

  2. The Hueys in It Wasn't Me - What’s all the arguing about? There are plenty of Hueys to go around in this hilarious story from the #1 bestselling illustrator of The Day the Crayons Quit! The Hueys are back! Oliver Jeffers’ jelly bean-shaped creatures may look the same, think the same, and even do the same things, but that doesn’t mean they always agree. The only problem is, they can’t seem to agree on what they disagreed on in the first place! Which ultimately leads to an even bigger disagreement! Confused? Well, so are the Hueys. Which only adds to the fun and hilarity. Anyone who has ever had to referee an argument among siblings or friends will appreciate the absurdity Oliver Jeffers reveals in the every-day trials of getting along.

  3. Lost and Found - Twelve-year-old identical twins Jay and Ray have long resented that everyone treats them as one person, and so they hatch a plot to take advantage of a clerical error at their new school and pretend they are just one.

  4. One of a Kind - In this wry and witty picture book, an only child learns that in a classroom of multiples, individuality can be awesome. All the kids in Lysander Singleton’s class are either twins or triplets, which means Lysander Singleton is the only “only child” at Twin Oaks Elementary. He tries to do what he can to fit in—making photocopies of himself, or attempting to play games with the other kids—though his efforts are usually met with unfortunate results. But when it comes time for the schoolwide Twindividuation competition, a series of events meant to encourage individuality, Lysander quickly realizes that being the only “only child” does have its advantages—and that being unique isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Books About Individuality and Clothing

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Stephanie's Ponytail
Written by Robert Munsch & illustrated by Michael Martchenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Another laugh-out-loud book from the author of The Paper Bag Princess!

Everyone is copying Stephanie’s ponytail! No matter which way she wears it, the list of copycats keeps growing. But when Stephanie declares her next hair style, she tries to shake all of her followers loose.

A newly designed Classic Munsch picture book introduces this tale of trend-setting hairdos to a young generation of readers.

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Hiding Heidi
Written & illustrated by Fiona Woodcock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A beautiful and enchanting story by exciting new talent Fiona Woodcock, about a little girl with an amazing gift for concealing herself. Meet Heidi—if you can find her, that is! Heidi is the best at hiding: in school, at the playground, or in the park. Heidi’s friends know how much she loves hiding, so they always let her play and win. But Heidi learns the importance of sharing the limelight with other people when being too good at hiding makes her miss all the other fun her friends are having—and how much more fun it can be when you appreciate what your friends are good at too! She learns Freddie is great at bouncing on hippity-hops, Katie is sensational at roller-skating, and Lizzie is incredible at climbing. Heidi then realizes that she has fun doing the activities her friends like, even if she isn’t the best.

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The Right One for Roderic
Written & illustrated by Violeta Noy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

What happens when one little ghost wants to stand out? All ghosts wear white sheets. That’s just what ghosts do. White sheets are good for haunting people, and they make the ghosts feel like part of one big family. But one little ghost named Roderic wants to wear something different. He tries all sorts of things: a bag, a rug, a boot. Can he find the right one for him? Find out in this colorful picture book from debut author-illustrator Violeta Noy.

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  1. Sadie and the Silver Shoes - When shoes are the only thing you get to pick out yourself, what happens when you lose one of them? A tale of self-expression and friendship, told with humor and charm. With three older brothers to pass along hand-me-downs, Sadie doesn’t have much say in choosing her clothes. Her outfits always look interesting, though (even if some kids at school might not think so). But Sadie is allowed to pick her shoes, so one day she buys the most beautiful shoes ever – shoes that sparkle in the sun, shoes she wears everywhere. That is, until Sadie and her brothers hop down a creek on an adventure, and one shoe falls off and is swept away. Whatever will Sadie do with one silver shoe? From a winning picture-book team comes a story of creativity, resilience, and like-minded souls that is sure to appeal to independent thinkers everywhere.

  2. Ogilvy - The clothes don’t make the bunny in this new picture book from New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Underwood, illustrated by T. L. McBeth. When Ogilvy moves to a new town, the possibilities feel endless. There are so many new bunny friends and fun things to do together! But in this town, bunnies in dresses play ball and knit socks, and bunnies in sweaters make art and climb rocks. Ogilvy wants to do everything—and won’t let a sweater or a dress get in the way.

  3. Under My Hijab - Grandma’s hijab clasps under her chin. Auntie pins hers up with a whimsical brooch. Jenna puts a sun hat over hers when she hikes. Iman wears a sports hijab for tae kwon do. As a young girl observes the women in her life and how each covers her hair a different way, she dreams of the possibilities in her own future and how she might express her personality through her hijab. With cheerful rhyming text by acclaimed author Hena Khan, and charming illustrations from talented newcomer Aaliya Jaleel, Under My Hijab provides a friendly introduction to hijabs for all readers, and celebrates the many Muslim women and girls who choose to wear them.

  4. Suki's Kimono - On her first day of first grade, despite the objections of her older sisters, Suki chooses to wear her beloved Japanese kimono to school because it holds special memories of her grandmother’s visit last summer.

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Books About Individuality and Confidence

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Spoon
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & illustrated by Scott Magoon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Thinking that Fork, Knife, and Chopstick have it better than he, Spoon begins to feel down about his status in the utensil world, but when others take the time to show him just how important he is, Spoon quickly comes to realize that being a spoon is the best thing to be after all!

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It's OK To Be Different
Written & illustrated by Todd Parr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

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

From the bestselling author Todd Parr comes a reassuring book about being who you are.

Told with Todd Parr’s signature wit and wisdom, It’s Okay to Be Different cleverly delivers the important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in an accessible, child-friendly format. The book features the bold, bright colors and silly scenes that made Todd a premiere voice for emotional discussions in children’s literature. Targeted to young children first beginning to read, this book will inspire kids to celebrate their individuality through acceptance of others and self-confidence—and it’s never to early to develop a healthy self-esteem.

It’s Okay to be Different is designed to encourage early literacy, enhance emotional development, celebrate multiculturalism and diversity, and promote character growth.

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Exclamation Mark
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A punctuation mark feels bad that he doesn’t fit in with the others until a friend reveals the possibilities that exist when differences are accepted.

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  1. Sweety - Sweety is awkward, even for a naked mole rat, but with encouragement from her Aunt Ruth, she begins to see that being herself is the best way to find a friend.

  2. Remarkably You - Heartfelt and timeless, Remarkably You is an inspirational manifesto about all of the things--little or small, loud or quiet--that make us who we are. Great for sharing and gifting, especially to celebrate your remarkable graduate.

  3. I Am Brown - I am brown. I am beautiful. I am perfect. I designed this computer. I ran this race. I won this prize. I wrote this book. A joyful celebration of the skin you're in--of being brown, of being amazing, of being you.

  4. The Lost Sloths - From Box Trolls director Graham Annable comes Peter & Ernesto: The Lost Sloths, the immensely charming sequel to his brilliant debut graphic novel about the endearing friendship between two sloths. Peter and Ernesto loved their tree. Then a hurricane came and blew it away! Now, Peter, Ernesto, and the rest of their sloth friends must venture into the jungle to find a new--great--tree. But the jungle is full of dangers, including angry ants, slithering snakes, and a ravenous jaguar! Can cautious Peter and confident Ernesto work together to keep their tribe safe? They'll have to, if they want to find the perfect tree to call home!

Books About Individuality and Kindness

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The Monster Who Lost His Mean
Written by Tiffany Strelitz Haber & illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Teased by the other monsters for being nice instead of mean, Onster prefers playing with children and helping them with their chores to frightening them.

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That's Not How You Do It!
Written & illustrated by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Lucy knows how to do everything. All her friends ask her for help if they need to know the right way to do something. When Toshi arrives, Lucy thinks he can’t do anything properly at all. She can barely hide her frustration. When she finally tries to teach Toshi the right way to do things, she learns a very important lesson herself.

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Friends Stick Together
Written & illustrated by Hannah Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Rupert is a rhinoceros of refined sensibilities. Levi, the new tickbird in class, is not. He burps the alphabet, tells corny jokes, and does really embarrassing air guitar solos. Worse, he lands right on Rupert and is determined to be Rupert’s symbiotic best pal! Rupert wants him gone. But when Levi finally does bug off, Rupert finds the peace and quiet a little boring. It turns out, Rupert could really use a friend like Levi.

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  1. The Boy Who Grew Flowers - Rink is a very unusual boy who grows beautiful flowers all over his body whenever the moon is full. In town and at school, Rink and his family are treated as outcasts although no-one knows his strange botanical secret. But one day a new girl arrives at sc

  2. Dazzling Travis - Travis sets no limits to what he enjoys doing. Shopping and football, ballet and dress-up make Travis a one of a kind boy! But when some of the kids on the playground begin to pick on him, Travis truly dazzles. This empowering story encourages both boys and girls to challenge the social norm, revealing their true selves.

  3. Extraordinary Jane - Jane the dog doesn’t have a unique talent in the circus like the rest of her family, until the ringmaster discovers what is truly special about her

  4. Extraordinary Ordinary Ella - Ella is extraordinary. Extraordinarily ordinary, that is. Not graceful like Carmen or musical like Kenji, Ella is determined to prove herself at the school talent show. But when every attempt to find a talent falls flat and her own ordinary acts of kindness steal the show, Ella discovers just how extraordinary ordinary can be!

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Books About Individuality and Imagination

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Julian Is a Mermaid
Written & illustrated by Jessica Love
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world. While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes – and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

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When I Draw a Panda
Written & illustrated by Amy June Bates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the acclaimed author and illustrator of The Big Umbrella comes a delightful celebration of creativity and gumption about a girl and her panda that’s Calvin and Hobbes meets If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!

Sometimes when they say to draw a perfect circle, mine turn out a little wonky.
I can draw a perfect fluffy cloud, a perfect scoop of ice cream, and a perfect flat tire.
So when I draw a panda, I keep drawing more and more not-perfect circles until I see a panda.
Then I step back and think, Does it need something else? He probably needs a hat, and then he is my panda.

When a girl draws a panda, it comes to life and helps her embrace her own creativity and unique way of seeing the world.

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Incredible You
Written by Rhys Brisenden & illustrated by Nathan Reed
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Ever had a bad day and wished that you were someone else? Perhaps a mountain gorilla? Or a fierce tiger? But wait . . . just think of all the amazing things that you can do! You can sing, you can write, and you can dream. And never stop being incredible you!

This picture book brings a breath of fresh air for young children, filled with positivity, zest, and energy.

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  1. Penny and Penelope - 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.

  2. The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse - Every child has an artist inside them, and this vibrant picture book from Eric Carle will help let it out. The artist in this book paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. There’s a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox and a polka-dotted donkey. More than anything, there’s imagination. Filled with some of the most magnificently colorful animals of Eric Carle’s career, this tribute to the creative life celebrates the power of art.

  3. Happy Dreamer - A “dreamer maximus” describes the many ways one can dream, and the importance of being a happy dreamer.

  4. Sarabella's Thinking Cap - From the bestselling creator of Skippyjon Jones, a heartwarming story about the importance of imagination and creativity. Sarabella is always thinking—conjuring, daydreaming, and creating new worlds from her imagination. There is so much going on in her head that it can barely be contained. But there are times when daydreaming is decidedly not a good thing—like when you’re supposed to be doing multiplication tables. Luckily, Sarabella has an understanding teacher and with his encouragement She comes up with her own idea to show everyone who she is.

Books About Individuality and Belonging

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The Day You Begin
Written by Jacqueline Woodson & illustrated by Rafael López
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.

Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

(This book is also available in Spanish, as El Día En Que Descubres Quién Eres!)

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Les & Ronnie Step Out
Written & illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences.

Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?

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Cuckoo!
Written & illustrated by Fiona Roberton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Cuckoo hatches. And all is well. But when his brothers and sisters sing out Too-too-weet! Too-too-weet! Cuckoo instead chirps Cuckoo! and no one can understand him. When he leaves his nest, Cuckoo still can’t find anyone who speaks his language. He tries to communicate with the other animals—coomooing and buckooing and cabooing along the way—but he doesn’t sound like anyone else out there! Just when he thinks all is lost, Cuckoo finds an unlikely friend who understands him perfectly.

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  1. Chocolate Me! - The boy is teased for looking different than the other kids. His skin is darker, his hair curlier. He tells his mother he wishes he could be more like everyone else. And she helps him to see how beautiful he really, truly is.

  2. Stumpkin - Stumpkin is the most handsome pumpkin on the block. He’s as orange as a traffic cone! Twice as round as a basketball! He has no bad side! He’s the perfect choice for a Halloween jack-o-lantern. There’s just one problem—Stumpkin has a stump, not a stem. And no one seems to want a stemless jack-o-lantern for their window. As Halloween night approaches, more and more of his fellow pumpkins leave, but poor Stumpkin remains. Will anyone give Stumpkin his chance to shine?

  3. Rumple Buttercup - A charming and inspiring story written and illustrated by Criminal Minds actor/director, Matthew Gray Gubler. Rumple Buttercup has five crooked teeth, three strands of hair, green skin, and his left foot is slightly bigger than his right. He is weird. Join him and Candy Corn Carl (his imaginary friend made of trash) as they learn the joy of individuality as well as the magic of belonging.

  4. What Matters Most - A young horse discovers that whatever our differences, love connects us all. What matters most of all to you? What matters most to me? Let’s take a look around us, and maybe we will see.
    A small horse and a large horse celebrate their unconditional love in a sweet story full of gentle rhymes and foil-embellished illustrations. Beloved children’s book creator Emma Dodd explores important themes of identity and belonging in this warm and uplifting story of love.

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Books About Individuality and Birds

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

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

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The Party and Other Stories
Written & illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Fox and Chick don’t always agree. But Fox and Chick are always friends. With sly humor and companionable warmth, Sergio Ruzzier deftly captures the adventures of these two seemingly opposite friends. The luminous watercolor images showcased in comic-book panel form will entice emerging readers, while the spare text and airiness of the images make this early chapter book accessible to a picture book audience as well.

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Penguin Flies Home
Written & illustrated by Lita Judge
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Penguin mastered his quest to soar with the eagles in Flight School—now he’s heading home to teach his friends in this sweet and inspiring stand-alone companion story!

Penguin loves everything about flying: the wind beneath his wings, the song that rises from his belly, and the sight of new and wonderful places.

Still, he misses his penguin friends in the South Pole. So, he flips and flaps back home, ready to teach them the magic of flight!

But when he arrives, his enthusiasm for flying doesn’t get quite the reaction he expected. Will Penguin’s friends still like him, even if they don’t share his soaring dreams?

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  1. The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories - In the second book of this lauded series, Fox and Chick are off on three new adventures involving a boat ride, a mysterious box, and an early morning trip to see the sunrise. Despite the antics ensuing from their opposite personalities, the contradictory duo always manages to find a happy center. This early chapter book in comic-book form is perfect for emerging readers, while the sweet and funny characters and captivating art hold appeal for picturebook audiences as well.

  2. Keith Among the Pigeons - Keith feels different to the other cats, who don’t like to wash in bird baths or nap in the branches of trees. He begins to wonder if he actually is a cat. He’s always felt more comfortable when surrounded by pigeons, and he envies their way of life. But when he tries to join them, the birds see him as a cat and keep their distance. Is he a cat or a pigeon? Will he manage to find a way to be himself?

  3. Edward the Emu - Tired of his life as an emu, Edward decides to try being something else for a change. He tries swimming with the seals. He spends a day lounging with the lions. He even does a stint slithering with the snakes. <P>But Edward soon discovers that being an emu may be the best thing after all. And so he returns to his pen, only to find a big surprise awaiting him…

  4. Beyond the Laughing Sky - Ten-year-old Nashville doesn’t feel like he belongs with his family, in his town, or even in this world. He was hatched from an egg his father found on the sidewalk and has grown into something not quite boy and not quite bird. Despite the support of his loving parents and his adoring sister, Junebug, Nashville wishes more than anything that he could join his fellow birds up in the sky. After all, what’s the point of being part bird if you can’t even touch the clouds?

Books About Individuality and Monsters

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Maurice the Unbeastly
Written by Amy Dixon & illustrated by Karl James Mountford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

No ordinary beast, Maurice is neat, polite, photogenic, and his roar is delightful to the ear, which leads his parents to enroll him at the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts, where he realizes he has a few things he can teach his fellow beasts.

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Some Monsters Are Different
Written & illustrated by David Milgrim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Monsters celebrate their individuality.

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There's Something About Sam
Written by Hannah Barnaby & illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Despite his initial hesitation to invite the new kid, Sam, to his sleepover birthday party, Max quickly discovers that what makes us different makes us special, and new friends can come in all shapes, sizes, and species . . . Perfect as a birthday gift, and for fans of Vampirina Ballerina _and _Crankenstein. 

There’s something strange about the new kid, Sam—though Max can’t quite put his finger on it. But EVERYONE else in his class is invited to Max’s birthday sleepover, so his mom invites Sam too.

Sam is just as strange at the party as he is at school: he’s wary of the full moon, prefers his hamburgers rare, and can’t help but bite the other kids during an innocent game of Twister. But despite his initial hesitation, Max discovers that what makes us different is actually what makes us special, and that new friends can come in all shapes, sizes, and species . . .

This charming and pitch-perfect story will teach young readers all about the excitement of making new friends, and learning from our differences.

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  1. Christopher Pumpkin - Fans of Room on the Broom and How to Catch a Monster will love this creepy-cute tale about one pumpkin who must learn to embrace his differences when he realizes he's unlike the other pumpkins. This oversized board book is perfect for Halloween!

  2. Love Monster - Love Monster is a slightly hairy monster trying to fit in with the cuddly residents of Cutesville. But as it turns out, it’s hard to fit in with the cute and the fluffy when you’re a googly-eyed monster. And so, Love Monster sets out to find someone who will love him just the way he is. His journey is not easy―he looks high, low, and even middle-ish. But as he soon finds out, in the blink of a googly eye, love can find you when you least expect it. Look out for Love Monster and the Perfect Present, coming in Fall 2014.

  3. Mostly Monsterly - Bernadette might seem like an ordinary monster, but sometimes she likes to do some very unmonsterlike things, like pick flowers. And pet kittens. And <i>bake</i>. <p/>When the time comes for Bernadette to go to Monster Academy, she’s just a teensy bit nervous. Her classmates just don’t understand her. They’d rather uproot trees than sing friendship songs. And they prefer fried snail goo to Bernadette’s homemade cupcakes with sprinkles. Can Bernadette find a way to make friends at school and still be herself?

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Books About Individuality and Girls And Women

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Just Ask!
Written by Sonia Sotomayor & illustrated by Rafael López
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and award-winning artist Rafael Lopez create a kind and caring book about the differences that make each of us unique.

Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful.

In Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges–and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we’re not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.

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Not All Princesses Dress in Pink
Written by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple & illustrated by Anne-Sophie Lanquetin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

These princesses dig in the dirt, kick soccer balls, and splash in muddy puddles – all in their sparkly crowns!

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Rock What Ya Got
Written by Samantha Berger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A child reminds everyone to embrace their own special something in this joyful expression of self-love.
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  1. What's My Superpower? - Nalvana feels like all of her friends have some type of superpower. She has friends with super speed (who always beat her in races), friends with super strength (who can dangle from the monkey bars for hours), and friends who are better than her at a million other things. Nalvana thinks she must be the only kid in town without a superpower. But then her mom shows Nalvana that she is unique and special, and that her superpower was right in front of her all along.

  2. Tough Chicks - From the moment Penny, Polly, and Molly hatch from their eggs, the whole farm knows they are truly tough chicks. They wrestle worms, rope roosters, and are often found under the hood of the tractor. All the other animals and even the farmer himself tell Mama Hen to make her chicks good. “They are good!” Mama Hen replies. But her chicks are different. They’re tough and smart and strong in a good way.

  3. A Girl Like You - Every girl is a wonder! A Girl Like You encourages girls to embrace what makes them unique, to choose kindness, and to be their own advocates. In an age when girls can be whatever they want, this books reminds them of all the ways to be beautiful, brilliant, and uniquely themselves.

  4. Matchy Matchy - Maria always matches, but Maria doesn’t want to be so matchy matchy. One day she mixes it up in this colorful and quirky picture book Thanks to Mom, everything about Maria matches–her clothes, her socks, her underwear, her backpack, and her lunchbox. Maria even matches the dog, the duvet, and the doilies. But Maria doesn’t want to be so matchy matchy. She wants to mix it up! Feathers and fringe! Pom-poms and plaid! Spikes and spots! Leopard and lace! Tie-dye and tutus! One day she does just that and asserts her very own unique style

Books About Individuality and Bullying

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The Curvy Tree
Written by Chris Colfer & illustrated by Brandon Dorman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The debut picture book from #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer Once upon a time, there was a little girl who didn’t quite fit in. When she runs away, she happens upon a curvy tree who helps her understand the importance of being different! This picture book stands alone, but also plays an important role in the Land of Stories series–making this a must-have book for fans and new readers alike!

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Jake and Lily
Written & illustrated by Jerry Spinelli
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This is a story about me, Lily. And me, Jake. We’re twins and we’re exactly alike. Not exactly! Whatever. This is a book we wrote about the summer we turned eleven and Jake ditched me. Please. I just started hanging out with some guys in the neighborhood. Right. So anyway, this is a book about goobers and supergoobers bullies clubhouses true friends things getting built and wrecked and rebuilt and about figuring out who we are. We wrote this together (sort of) so you’ll get to see both sides of our story. But you’ll probably agree with my side. You always have to have the last word, don’t you? Yes!

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I Am Enough
Written by Grace Byers & illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A New York Times bestseller and Goodreads Choice Awards picture book winner!

This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another—from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.

This is the perfect gift for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation.

We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.

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  1. Tropical Terry - From author-illustrator Jarvis comes a buoyant underwater tale about a little blue fish who learns that being dazzling isn’t what makes you special. Coral Reef City is home to the most brilliant tropical fish in the ocean. Sparkling and multicolored, they swim around and around, showing off. And then there’s Terry. Small, blue, and ordinary, Terry spends his days playing hiding games with his friends and wishing the tropical fish would play with him, too. So with the help of his friends, Terry fashions a flashy, dazzling costume and transforms into Tropical Terry. But life as the center of attention isn’t quite everything Terry dreamed it would be – especially once Eddie the Eel shows up, hungry for dinner. In a bright, cheerful story, Jarvis uses his vibrant art and heartwarming wit to prove that sometimes the things you thought made you unremarkable are actually the most special qualities of all.

  2. Angus All Aglow - Angus loves sparkly things,so much so that he can hear them.To Angus,shiny objects not only look beautiful; they also crackle, buzz and go whiz-bang-POP! His unique ability is lost, however, when Angus wears his grandma’s beaded necklace to school, and his classmates tease him for his atypical choice. Saddened by their laughter, Angus stops hearing the sparkle. A gentle story of acceptance, generosity and friendship, Angus All Aglow reminds us that it only takes one kind gesture to restore your sparkle, and returning the kindness can make you glow from the inside out.

  3. My Hair is a Garden - After a day of being taunted by classmates about her unruly hair, Mackenzie can’t take any more and she seeks guidance from her wise and comforting neighbor, Miss Tillie. Using the beautiful garden in the backyard as a metaphor, Miss Tillie shows Mackenzie that maintaining healthy hair is not a chore nor is it something to fear. Most importantly, Mackenzie learns that natural black hair is beautiful.

  4. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are - How can Ralph be so mean? Lucy is one of a kind and Ralph loves to point that out. Lucy’s defining moment comes when Ralph truly needs help. Because she knows what she stands for, Lucy has the courage to make a good choice. This charming story empowers children to always do the right thing and be proud of themselves, even when they are faced with someone as challenging as Ralph.

Books About Individuality and Making Friends

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Reptile Club, The
Written by Maureen Fergus & illustrated by Elina Ellis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

There are lots of clubs for Rory to join at his new school, but none seem quite right for him. So when his parents suggest he start his own club about something he loves, Rory knows exactly what it will be: a Reptile Club! He’s positive that there are other kids out there who share his passion. He sets up his first meeting and then waits and waits for students to show up. Just as he is about to give up, Rory hears whispering in the hallway and hurries over to see who it is. To his astonishment, it’s not his schoolmates who have arrived to attend the first meeting, but a crocodile, an anaconda and a gecko!

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Quinny & Hopper
Written by Adriana Brad Schanen & illustrated by Greg Swearingen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Quinny has a lot to say. Hopper gets to the point.

Quinny has one speed: very, very, extra-very fast. Hopper proceeds with caution.

Quinny has big ideas. Hopper has smart solutions.

Quinny and Hopper couldn’t be more different. They are an unstoppable team.

But when summer ends, things suddenly aren’t the same. Can Quinny and Hopper stick together in the face of stylish bullies, a killer chicken, and the brand-new Third Grade Rules-especially the one that says they aren’t allowed to be friends anymore?

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Chamelia and the New Kid in Class
Written & illustrated by Ethan Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Chamelia is a chameleon who loves to stand out in a crowd. She’s always the star of the show, especially at school. But when a new kid in class becomes the center of attention, Chamelia feels left out. Can she figure out how to beat her competition? Or will she learn to share the spotlight and make a new best friend? Join the fabulous Chamelia in this funny and charming story about friendship, school, and the true meaning of being a star!

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  1. My Cousin Momo - Momo is coming to visit, and his cousins are SO excited! But even though Momo is a flying squirrel, he won’t fly for his cousin’s friends. Plus, his games are weird. He can’t even play hide and seek right! But when Momo’s cousins give his strange ways a chance, they realize that doing things differently can be fun…almost as much fun as making a new friend.

  2. Mabel: A Mermaid Fable - A lovely and laugh-out-loud picture book from the award-winning author of Rude Cakes and Most Marshmallows. A silly read-aloud tale for kids about being yourself! Mabel isn’t like the other mermaids. Lucky isn’t like the other octopuses. But when they find each other, they discover that true friendship isn’t about how you look, and that sometimes what we are searching for is right under our noses. The inimitable Rowboat Watkins is back with another humorous tale about being true to yourself. • A delightful, inspiring read-aloud book for toddlers that celebrates gender diversity and difference • Stylish, accessible art brings this story of being true to yourself to hilarious life. • Rowboat Watkins is a 2010 Sendak Fellow and Ezra Jack Keats honoree. Young readers of Julian Is a Mermaid, Mary Wears What She Wants, and Exclamation Mark will find much to love in this tale that celebrates individuality and acceptance.

  3. Freddie Ramos Adds It All Up - When Amy, the new girl at school, is being bullied, Freddie Ramos uses his Zapato Power to help her. But then she disappears! Super hearing, super speed, and super bounce doesn’t help Freddie find her. And his superpowers aren’t helping Freddie with his own school problem either–he’s failing math. Can Freddie find a way to help Amy and his math grade?

Books About Individuality and First Concepts

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My Shape is Sam
Written by Amanda Jackson & illustrated by Lydia Nichols
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Circles were smooth and round. Good at rolling, spinning, and pushing. They all turned together to make things go.

Squares were sturdy and even. Good at stacking, steadying, and measuring. They all fit together to make things stay.

In a world where everybody is a shape and every shape has a specific job, Sam is a square who longs for softer corners, rounder edges, and the ability to roll like a circle. But everyone knows that squares don’t roll, they stack. At least that’s what everyone thinks until the day Sam takes a tumble and discovers something wonderful. He doesn’t have to be what others want or expect him to be.

With playful imagery, this story considers identity and nonconformity through the eyes of Sam, a square struggling to find his true place in the world.

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A Dog Is a Dog
Written & illustrated by Stephen Shaskan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A dog is a dog, right? Not so fast! From debut author-illustrator Stephen Shaskan comes this lively picture book that will keep young readers guessing (and giggling!) from beginning to end. With its wacky illustrations, bouncy text, and spot-on humor, A Dog Is a Dog is a fantastic read-aloud that kids will clamor to hear again and again.

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No Two Alike
Written & illustrated by Keith Baker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Follows a pair of birds on a snowflake-filled journey through a winter landscape, where everything everywhere, from branches and leaves to forests full of trees, is unique.

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  1. The Favorite Book - From the author-illustrator of Do You Believe in Unicorns? comes a sweet, colorful celebration of how we choose the things we love best. Have you ever thought about how your favorite things became your favorites in the first place? Sometimes picking a favorite can be easy: you know from the moment you see it. And sometimes, selecting one can take a little longer as you consider all the options. The choice is yours: you can have many favorites or none at all. You might even find that your favorite changes. From colors to animals to the perfect hat, there are so many things to love . . . and even help you learn a little about yourself in the process. Playful and thought-provoking, this cheerful rhyming story encourages young readers to reflect on how they make decisions and pick their own favorite — or two.

  2. My Travelin' Eye - Jenny Sue loves that her “travelin’ eye” lets her see the world in a special way, and so she is not happy when her teacher suggests that her parents take her to an opthamologist to fix the lazy eye.

  3. Fred and Ted Like to Fly - Fred and Ted--beloved canine stars of P. D. Eastman's Big Dog . . . Little Dog and son Peter Eastman's Fred and Ted Go Camping--take flight on a new adventure: flying planes to a tropical island! There the good friends enjoy the beach, each in his own style. But will the dogs' tale be ruined by the rising tide? It's a close-call for Fred and Ted in this charming introduction to opposites!

Books About Individuality and Imagination And Play

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Celebrate You!
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by A.N. Kang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Loudly and proudly, let’s celebrate YOU!

This charming new picture book celebrates all the small but important milestones on the way to growing up, from the first wobbly baby steps to the time when they’re ready to leave the nest.

With irresistible illustrations and an inspiring message, Celebrate You! will cheer and encourage readers of any age.

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Olivia and the Fairy Princesses
Written & illustrated by Ian Falconer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In this picture book starring the world’s most imaginative pig, Olivia embarks upon a quest for identity with very lofty goals—and being a princess is NOT one of them!

Olivia is having an identity crisis! There are too many ruffly, sparkly princesses around these days, and Olivia has had quite enough. She needs to stand out! She has to be special! She wants to do more than just fit in! So what will she be? Join Olivia on a hilarious quest for individuality, and rest assured, you won’t find THIS pig pleased to be in pink!

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I'd Know You Anywhere, My Love
Written & illustrated by Nancy Tillman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

There are things about you quite unlike any other.
Things always known by your father or mother.
So if you decide to be different one day,
no worries... I'd know you anyway.

Every child is special and unique, but every child also loves to dream of being something different. In I'd Know You Anywhere, My Love, bestselling author and artist Nancy Tillman has created another heartfelt masterpiece celebrating the joys of imagination, and the comfort of always knowing that you are loved.

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  1. Croc & Turtle: Snow Fun! - Croc & Turtle may be different, but they’re the best of friends! This adorable winter-themed story will warm your heart, and is perfect for fans of Penguin and Pinecone. Croc and Turtle are best friends! It’s a wintry day, so Croc and Turtle are ready for snow fun! But Croc likes outside activities and Turtle likes inside activities. What happens when best friends have very different ideas of fun? In this new humorous and heartwarming adventure, Croc and Turtle navigate the ups and downs of friendship.

  2. I Can Fly - Penguin wants to fly like other birds, but he has trouble doing so when he tries! Penguin is confused because he has wings and can flap, waddle, and leap like other birds, but he lands flat on his stomach when he tries to fly. When Penguin asks his dad why he can’t fly, his father tells him that penguins swim. But Penguin doesn’t want to accept this! Will he be able to find a way to fly?

Books About Individuality and Performing Arts

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Giraffes Can't Dance
Written by Giles Andreae & illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Gerald the giraffe is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, until he finds the right music. On board pages.

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How Do You Dance?
Written & illustrated by Thyra Heder
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A playful picture book that urges readers to bop, bounce, and shake from the author of Fraidyzoo There are so many ways to dance! You can jiggle or wiggle or stomp. You can bop or bounce or go completely nuts. You can dance at the market or the bus stop, with your fingers or your face. You can dance because you’re happy or even because you’re sad. But, what’s the best way to dance? Exactly how you want to! In How Do You Dance?, author-illustrator Thyra Heder explores dance in all of its creativity, humor, and–most of all–joy, in a picture-book celebration of personal expression that will inspire young and old readers alike to get up and get moving.

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Sticks and Stones
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From New York Times bestselling author and master storyteller Patricia Polacco comes the uplifting tale of three inseparable friends who pursue their talents and stop at nothing to achieve their dreams.

Based on her own childhood memory, author Patricia Polacco shares the pivotal story of one year in elementary school. On the first day of school, she breaks out in a rash and is called “Cootie” by her classmates. It seems like the year will be a disaster for Patricia until she meets Thom and Ravenne.

Each of the friends have their own talent. Thom, with his long legs and graceful manner, loves to dance ballet earning him the name “Sissy Boy.” Ravenne makes kits and paints on fabric, but she’s shy that people call her “Her Ugliness.” Thom, Ravenne, and Patricia are bullied by their classmates causing the three friends to band together for support. For years after that fateful year, encourage each other to stay true to themselves and achieve success in their passions.

This endearing and timely story celebrates uniqueness and proves that no matter what challenges stand in your way it’s your differences that make you who you are.

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  1. Sarai in the Spotlight! - The second book in the Sarai Gonzalez illustrated chapter book series inspired by the life of 11-year-old viral video sensation and social activist Sarai Gonzalez.<p></p>When Sarai’s best friend suddenly moves away, Sarai has to navigate school – and the unfriendly girls in the cafeteria – all by herself. Then, new girl Christina moves to town and the teacher volunteers Sarai to show her around. But Sarai thinks Christina is not at all like her–she never wants to play at recess, she’s always got her head in a notebook and she’s so shy! But when Christina writes Sarai a spoken-word poem for her to recite at the class talent show, Sarai learns that sometimes winning teams are made from unlikely pairs!Inspired by the life of viral video sensation and social activist Sarai Gonzalez with the help of award-winning children’s book author Monica Brown.

  2. Banana Pants! - Princess Miranda and Not-a-Princess Maude are total opposites and totally best friends! Fed up with nonstop testing, Miranda and Maude’s teacher makes a surprise announcement: They are going to put on a school play! And, the class decides, it will be called Banana Pants! School is finally a joy, and the project inspires the girls to fight for more positive change. Maude decides to wage a campaign against Styrofoam lunch trays, and she thinks she has the perfect powerful ally in Miranda. But, much to Maude’s frustration, Miranda would rather focus on her own good cause: love! The girls can’t seem to see eye to eye, and in pursuing their good causes separately, they go way too far, resulting in the friendship’s first-ever fight.

Books About Individuality and Self-acceptance

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Not Your Typical Dragon
Written by Dan Bar-el & illustrated by Tim Bowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When Crispin Blaze turns 7 years old, he’s expected to breathe fire like all the other dragons, but instead of fire, he breathes a host of most unusual things. By the illustrator of Dream Big, Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi.

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Heidi Heckelbeck Gets Glasses
Written by Wanda Coven & illustrated by Priscilla Burris
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Heidi Heckelbeck sees things differently in this whimsically witchy chapter book. </b> <p/>When her friend Lucy Lancaster gets glasses, Heidi notices all the attention Lucy gets and decides that she, too, needs a new look. In order to get glasses, Heidi pretends that she has trouble seeing. All goes as planned and Heidi gets a cool pair of glasses–but when she puts them on there’s just one problem: She can’t see a thing! Heidi walks around with fuzzy vision and makes many messes until she realizes that she doesn’t need a pair of glasses to make her special.<br> With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Heidi Heckelbeck chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

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Brown Sugar Babe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
When a little girl has doubts about the color of her skin, her mother shows her all the wonderful, beautiful things brown can be! This message of self-love and acceptance uses rich, dreamy illustrations to celebrate the color using all the senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing.
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  1. Perfectly Norman - This empowering title in the Big Bright Feelings series is about embracing and celebrating what makes you unique. Norman had always been perfectly normal . . . until one day, he grows a pair of wings! Afraid of what people will think, Norman covers them up with a big coat. Can Norman find the courage to be himself? While we all might feel afraid about standing out, Perfectly Norman shows that there's nothing better than being yourself! The Big Bright Feelings picture books provide kid-friendly entry points into emotional intelligence topics--from being true to yourself, to worrying, to anger management, to making friends. These topics can be difficult to talk about. But these books act as sensitive and reassuring springboards for conversations about mental and emotional health, positive self-image, building self-confidence, and managing feelings. Read all the books in the Big Bright Feelings series!
    Perfectly Norman
    Ruby Finds a Worry
    Ravi's Roar
    Meesha Makes Friends

  2. Girl Who Could Fly - You just can't keep a good girl down . . . unless you use the proper methods.

  3. Girl Who Fell Out of the Sky - In The Girl Who Fell Out of the Sky--the conclusion to the fantasy adventure series that began with the New York Times bestseller The Girl Who Could Fly--Victoria Forester shows readers that life is always exceptional, and abilities come in many forms. What happens when the girl who could fly can't fly anymore? Piper McCloud's ability to fly has disappeared, perhaps the result of some dark spell put on her, or perhaps because her ability has simply vanished forever. There is a worldwide calamity that Piper, Conrad, and their exceptional friends must tackle to save the planet, but Piper is left behind. If she can't fly, then what use is she? Piper learns she can't do a lot of things--cook, clean, and help Ma around the house, among them. She feels more helpless than ever. What is she good at? How will she ever believe in herself again?

Books About Individuality and Peer Pressure

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Odd Dog Out
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A heartwarming and poignant story from award-winning creator Rob Biddulph about the power of embracing your true colors. Perfect for fans of Peter Brown’s Tiger Goes Wild.

It’s a dog’s life in the big, busy city, but there’s one lonely pup who doesn’t quite fit in. She behaves differently from the rest, sports rainbow in a sea of gray, and marches to the beat of her own drum.

She’s one Odd Dog.

Join Odd Dog as she journeys to the other side of the world to find her place in it, only for her to discover that maybe she’s meant to be right where she started.

And check out Rob Biddulph’s other books for children, including:

Blown Away

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!

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Cyril and Pat
Written & illustrated by Emily Gravett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From author-illustrator Emily Gravett comes a warm and funny picture book about friendship and loving someone different from yourself. Cyril is a squirrel. Pat is a rat. They have a lot of adventures and fun together. But no one else thinks they should be friends. In Emily Gravett’s brilliantly funny story, two friends learn that some things are more important than being the same, or following others.

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The Hueys in The New Sweater
Written & illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The Hueys are small and mischievous, unique compared to the world’s other creatures–but hardly unique to one another. You see, each Huey looks the same, thinks the same, and does the same exact things. So you can imagine the chaos when one of them has the idea of knitting a sweater! It seems like a good idea at the time–he is quite proud of it, in fact–but it does make him different from the others. So the rest of the Hueys, in turn, decide that they want to be different too! How? By knitting the exact same sweater, of course!

The first in a series of child-friendly concept books by the #1 bestselling artist of The Day the Crayons Quit, How to Catch a Star, Stuck, and This Moose Belongs to Me, The New Sweater proves that standing apart can be accomplished even when standing together.

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  1. How to Be a Lion - In this timely and charming story about the importance of being true to yourself, mindfulness, and standing by your friends, we meet Leonard, a lion, and his best friend Marianne, a… duck. Leonard and Marianne have a happy life together—talking, playing, writing poems, and making wishes—until one day a pack of bullies questions whether it’s right for a lion and a duck to be pals. Leonard soon learns there are many ways to be a lion, and many ways to be a friend, and that sometimes finding just the right words can change the world… This sweet, funny, thoughtful, and much-needed story will open up readers’ eyes to the importance of being who they are and not backing down to hurtful criticism. It’s an empowering tale about connecting with others and choosing kindness over bullying, and shows children how angry and provocative words can be overcome by empathy and courage.

  2. A Normal Pig - Pip is a normal pig who does normal stuff: cooking, painting, and dreaming of what she’ll be when she grows up. But one day a new pig comes to school and starts pointing out all the ways in which Pip is different. Suddenly she doesn’t like any of the same things she used to . . . the things that made her Pip. This charming picture book celebrates all our differences while questioning the idea that there is only one way to be “normal.”

Books About Individuality and Values And Virtues

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The Rainbow Fish
Written & illustrated by Marcus Pfister
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The Rainbow Fish is an international best-seller and a modern classic.

Eye-catching foil stamping, glittering on every page, offers instant child appeal, but it is the universal message at the heart of this simple story about a beautiful fish who learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions that gives the book its lasting value.

A CHRISTOPHER AWARD WINNER

WINNER OF THE BOLOGNA BOOK FAIR CRITICI IN ERBA PRIZE

AMERICAN BOOKSELLERS ABBY AWARD WINNER

AN IRA-CBC CHILDREN’S CHOICE

#1 PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLER and WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER

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The Big Book of Superpowers
Written by Susanna Isern & illustrated by Rocio Bonilla
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This inspiring book encourages kids to find their own superpower and celebrate it.

Superheroes have superpowers, abilities like strength or invisibility or flight. But did you know that ordinary kids have superpowers too? From dancing to reading to persistence and optimism, all of us have a superpower that makes us special and unique, a special ability that enables us to make a difference in the world. What’s your superpower?

With eighteen stories of kids with everyday superpowers, The Big Book of Superpowers will inspire kids to look inside and find what makes them extraordinary!

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We Are Growing!
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems and Laurie Keller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Walt and his friends are growing up fast! Everyone is the something-est. But . . . what about Walt? He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest. He is not the anything-est! As a BIG surprise inches closer, Walt discovers something special of his own!

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  1. Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration - Kirkus Starred Review

  2. The Giver - A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

Books About Individuality and Bears

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Teaching Eddie to Fly
Written & illustrated by Katarina Macurova
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Laugh-out-loud picture book about embracing your own unique gifts.

Eddie is a bird, but he can’t fly! His friend Ernest, a bear, decides he’s going to help Eddie learn to fly–with hilarious and unanticipated results. Along the way, both Ernest and Eddie learn some valuable lessons. Is Eddie even meant to fly? Or is there something else he’s even better at?

Quirky and fun, Teaching Eddie to Fly will have kids laughing while challenging them to think about what they’re good at, and what makes them unique.

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Bearnard's Book
Written by Deborah Underwood & illustrated by Misa Saburi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bearnard’s Book by writer Deborah Underwood and illustrator Misa Saburi is a charming picture book about a bear who discovers that to shine in his own story, he just needs to be himself.

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Delivery Bear
Written by Laura Gehl & illustrated by Paco Sordo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Zogby wants to work for Fluffy Tail Cookies as a delivery animal—but he’s a bear and all the other animals are cute bunnies. Zogby tries to pretend to be a bunny by wearing bunny ears, putting on whiskers, and adding a fluffy tail. But he still scares the customers! When Zogby realizes being himself is best, can he find a way to stand out and get the job?

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  1. Chee-Kee: A Panda in Bearland - Will Chee-Kee ever fit in? The Loo family has traveled very far to start a new life. For little Chee-Kee Loo, everything is strange–he looks and feels so different. But when some bears find themselves in a jam, Chee-Kee might be just the right panda to save the day. In this heartfelt and lovable story, meet Chee-Kee the panda, a one-of-a-kind in all the best ways.

  2. A Splendid Friend, Indeed - Bear wants to read and write and think. Goose wants to talk and talk and talk. Can Bear and Goose be friends? Suzanne Bloom’s picture book says volumes about friendship with a few select words and charming illustrations in this Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book.

  3. Polar Opposites - Alex is a BIG polar bear. Zina is a tiny penguin. Alex lives in the Arctic. Zina lives in the Antarctic. Alex and Zina are polar opposites! They live on opposite sides of the world. Their personalities are very different, too. But they find a way to meet in the middle. Erik Brooks’s simple text and vibrant watercolor illustrations bring opposites to life in this lively look at two unusual best friends.

  4. Flo - A witty picture book, starring an adorable panda, that celebrates relaxing, stopping to smell the roses, and being yourself! Meet Flo! Flo is the littlest panda. She likes to explore, relax, and enjoy everything around her. She is never in a hurry. But . . . sometimes she takes too much time, and the other pandas get impatient. One day they find themselves in trouble. Can Flo’s floppy ways save the day? With Kyo Maclear’s sweet, spare text and Jay Fleck’s bold, bright illustrations, Flo is sure to be a favorite for even the busiest little pandas!

Want to see books about bears?

Books About Individuality and Disabilities

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My Friend Isabelle
Written by Eliza Woloson & illustrated by Bryan Gough
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A young boy named Charlie describes the activities he shares with his friend Isabelle, a girl with Down Syndrome.

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My Friend Suhana
Written by Shaila Abdullah & illustrated by Aanyah Abdullah
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While volunteering with her mother at a community center, a seven-year-old girl befriends Suhana, also seven, whose cerebral palsy makes it difficult for her to communicate or control her movements. Includes facts about cerebral palsy.

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Special People, Special Ways
Written by Arlene Maguire & illustrated by Sheila Bailey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Rhyming text drescribes the different ways in which people may vary in physical or mental abilities, and the things they have in common.

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  1. The Prince Who Was Just Himself - Lacking the athletic and reading skills of his older brothers, Prince Noah uses love and compassion to save the kingdom from the Black Knight.

  2. Awesomely Emma: A Charley and Emma Story -

  3. When Charley Met Emma -

Books About Individuality and Multigenerational

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Cannonball
Written by Sacha Cotter & illustrated by Josh Morgan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

He’s ready to make a splash!

I’m ready to pull off the perfect cannonball, but everyone has advice.
“You need more weight”
“Bigger shorts!”
“More muscles!”
“BIGGER SHORTS!”

All it really takes is listening to your own voice and finding the courage to make the perfect cannonball.

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Leila in Saffron
Written by & illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova and Rukhsanna Guidroz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A colorful journey of self-discovery and identity, this sweet, vibrant picture book follows young Leila as she visits her grandmother’s house for their weekly family dinner, and finds parts of herself and her heritage in the family, friends, and art around her. Sometimes I’m not sure if I like being me. When Leila looks in the mirror, she doesn’t know if she likes what she sees. But when her grandmother tells her the saffron beads on her scarf suit her, she feels a tiny bit better. So, Leila spends the rest of their family dinner night on the lookout for other parts of her she does like. Follow Leila’s journey as she uses her senses of sight, smell, taste, touch to seek out the characteristics that make up her unique identity, and finds reasons to feel proud of herself, just as she is.

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My Name Is Wakawakaloch!
Written by Chana Stiefel & illustrated by Mary Sullivan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In this lighthearted picture book, the intrepid, determined, and savvy Wakawakaloch learns to embrace what makes her special while lifting up her neanderthal community. Perfect for fans of Vera Brosgol and Emily Hughes.

No one can pronounce Wakawakaloch’s name. Why couldn’t she be called something simple . . . like Gloop? That’s a name you can find on a T-shirt! But after a visit with her tribe’s elder, Wakawakaloch discovers what her name means, and how powerful names can be. Gloop may be easy to say, but the girl who helps her friends embrace differences and wear their names proudly? Her name is Wakawakaloch!

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  1. The Great Wall of Lucy Wu - A humorous and heartwarming debut about split cultural identities, and all the ways life fails to go according to plan for sixth-grader Lucy Wu.<p></p>Lucy Wu, aspiring basketball star and interior designer, is on the verge of having the best year of her life. She’s ready to rule the school as a sixth grader, go out for captain of the school basketball team, and take over the bedroom she has always shared with her sister. In an instant, though, her plans are shattered when she finds out that Yi Po, her beloved grandmother’s sister, is coming to visit for several months – and is staying in Lucy’s room. Lucy’s vision of a perfect year begins to crumble, and in its place come an unwelcome roommate, foiled birthday plans, a bully who tries to scare Lucy off the basketball team, and Chinese school with the annoying know-it-all Talent Chang. Lucy’s year is ruined – or is it? A wonderfully funny, warm, and heartfelt tale about the ways life often reveals silver linings in the most unexpected of clouds.

  2. Hubble Bubble, Granny Trouble - If your granny were a little bit, well, different from other grannies, would you want to change her, or would you love her just the way she is? In this rhyming text, a little girl whose granny is (shhhh!) a witch just wants her gran to be like all the other grans, with a normal pet and nicely done hair. But when she realizes that her reformed granny is bored and boring, there’s nothing to do but cook up a big pot of gloppy soup with granny and all of her frogs, cats, and bats!

  3. Stardust - One little girl dreams of being a star. But whether it’s finding Mom’s lost wedding ring or winning the costume prize, her big sister always shines brighter. A story about how everything and everyone is made of stardust and we all shine in different ways

Books About Individuality and Bunnies And Rabbits

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Rabbit & Bear: Attack of the Snack, Volume 3
Written by Julian Gough & illustrated by Jim Field
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9
It's time for another Rabbit and Bear adventure!
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Maximillian Villainous
Written by Margaret Chiu Greanias & illustrated by Lesley Breen Withrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

For anyone who loved Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, this is a humorous and important book about learning to follow your heart and proving that kindness can outweigh villainy any day.

Maximillian Villainous is a monster who doesn’t have the heart to be a villain. His famous family pulls pranks on the likes of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and Max spends his time undoing them. So when he brings home a bunny to be his sidekick, Max’s disapproving mother hatches a plan. She challenges Max and the bunny to become a devious duo; otherwise . . . the bunny hops. If they want to stay together, Max and the bunny have no choice but to go against their nature. They blunder into villainy with comical effect until Max discovers that embracing his good heart may just be the key to pulling off the most devious deed of all and winning his family’s acceptance.

Delightfully fun and irreverent, Maximillian Villainous is an empowering story about embracing one’s true self and finding acceptance. Up and coming illustrator Lesley Breen Withrow brings the characters to life with bold and colorful illustrations in a style reminiscent of Richard Scarry.

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Neither
Written by Airlie Anderson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
In this colorful and touching story that celebrates what makes each of us unique, a little creature that's not quite a bird and not quite a bunny--it's "neither"--searches for a place to fit in.
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  1. Rabbityness - Tells the story of a rabbit whose love of music and art inspires other rabbits even after he disappears.

  2. Me and You - Two artistic friends, paintbrushes in hand … “I wish I were just like you,” says the rabbit to the pig. “I wish I were just like you,” says the pig to the rabbit. As the friends use paintbrushes and a few props to adjust tails, ears and noses, something soon becomes clear: they liked each other better before. “I am me and you are you … that’s why we love each other, me and you!” This gentle celebration of friendship and individuality by award-winning writer and illustrator Geneviève Côté will reassure young readers that they are loved and special as themselves. It’s a book with all-ages appeal and an ideal gift for a child — or a best friend.

  3. A Boy and His Bunny - One morning, a boy wakes up with a rabbit on his head and, although his mother is skeptical, he soon discovers that he can be fed, ride a bobsled, and even look cool with a rabbit on his head.

  4. Fox & Rabbit - A new graphic novel series for emerging readers about the simple magic of true friendship

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