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Be an Individual


Explore these picture books about being uniquely you!


Julián Is a Mermaid

Jessica Love

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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The Day You Begin

Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson and 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.

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Remarkably You

Pat Zietlow Miller

New York Times bestselling author Pat Zietlow Miller celebrates individuality in her remarkable picture book about the beauty of being yourself. 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. With encouraging text by Pat Zietlow Miller and exuberant illustrations by Patrice Barton, readers will delight in all the ways they can be their remarkable selves. You might go unnoticed, or shine like a star, but wherever you go and whoever you are… don’t change how you act to be just like the rest. Believe in yourself and the things you do best.

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Perfectly Norman

Tom Percival

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.

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Whoever You Are

Mem Fox

Despite the differences between people around the world, there are similarities that join humanity together, such as pain, joy, and love.

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Neon Leon

Jane Clarke

Chameleons are the best at fitting in. But Leon is an exception. Leon is neon! In this delightful interactive book, children can help Leon on his journey to find a place where he can fit in. Full color.

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Not All Animals are Blue

Bǎtrice Boutignon

Presents animals in groups of five and asks young readers to spot differences among them for such things as color, shape, pose, attitude, behavior, and facial expression.

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Spoon

Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Meet Spoon. He's always been a happy little utensil. But lately, he feels like life as a spoon just isn't cutting it. He thinks Fork, Knife, and The Chopsticks all have it so much better than him. But do they? And what do they think about Spoon? A book for all ages, Spoon serves as a gentle reminder to celebrate what makes us each special.

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A Style All Her Own

Laurie Friedman

Isabelle Ashley, forced to abandon her sense of style when she dresses for her cousin's wedding, finds a way to express her individuality after all.

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Only a Tree Knows How to Be a Tree

Mary Murphy

All living creatures have a special place in the world in this extraordinary exploration of the concept of self for very young readers. Only I know how to be me. Only you know how to be you. Trees have leaves that turn sunshine into food. Amazing! Birds build nests, sing songs, hatch eggs, and fly. Dogs are our friends and can move their ears to tell us how they feel, while fish live in water, flashing like jewels. As for people, every person on Earth is different, each with their own thoughts and feelings. With a simple narrative and joyful, welcoming illustrations celebrating a world full of remarkable creatures, Mary Murphy reminds little ones that we are all unique, and that we are the only ones who know how to be us.

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Geraldine

Elizabeth Lilly

No, no, NO! Geraldine is NOT moving. Not to this new town where she's the only giraffe. Not to this new school where she has no friends. Not to this new place, where everyone only knows her as That Giraffe Girl. But soon Geraldine meets Cassie, a girl who is just as much of an outcast as she is, and as time goes by, she realizes that being yourself and making one really good, unusual friend can help someone who literally stands out fit right in. Together, Geraldine and Cassie play by their own rules.

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Spots in a Box

Helen Ward

Ordering some spots by mail when he worries about his lack thereof, a young guinea fowl is surprised by his delivery, which contains spots of various sizes, colors and patterns.

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The Day You Begin

Jacqueline Woodson

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.

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