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8 Picture Books to Help Kids Feel Comfortable in Their Own Skin
by Janssen Bradshaw
( read brightly.com )
In her pre-child life, Janssen was an elementary school librarian. Now she stays home with her four little girls and is constantly maxing out her library card with picture books, cookbooks, and young adult novels. She’s anxiously counting down the days until her girls are old enough to read the Little House on the Prairie books. You can find Janssen over on her blog, Everyday Reading, where she celebrates modern motherhood with a practical twist.
Is there anything better than a child that is unapologetically herself?
As a parent, one of my goals is to help my children all feel like they have the space and security to feel comfortable being themselves, whatever that looks like. Whether it’s encouraging them to embrace their own interests (even if they aren’t popular among their peers), helping them try out things they aren’t good at yet, or teaching them to accept the ways in which they are unique, I want my children to know that I love them unconditionally for exactly who they are.
Of course, in true librarian fashion, one of my favorite ways to open up those conversations is with a stack of picture books. These titles are perfect for helping kids feel comfortable with who they are and also having discussions about children in their school, neighborhood, or sports who are unique.
Most of us have probably had the experience of being the only one like us in a room, whether it’s because of the color of our skin, our religion, our nationality, or something else entirely. This beautiful book is a gentle reminder to be brave and reach out to others, no matter our differences, and look for ways to connect.
Luca is delighted to be at the dog park until the other dogs tell him he’s not a dog. In fact, they’re quite certain he’s a fox. But when he meets a few foxes in the forest, they don’t think he’s a fox either, since he acts like a dog. Is there anyone out there who will understand Luca and not worry too much about whether he’s a dog or a fox?
Edward the giraffe feels like his neck is just way too long. He tries hiding it and disguising it, but nothing works and he’s not sure what else to do. Then he meets Cyrus the turtle, who reminds him of all the ways Edward’s long neck is an asset. It’s a funny yet sincere story centered on self-acceptance and the power of supportive friends.
When you feel like a big tough dog inside, it’s pretty embarrassing to be called Choochie Pooh, be carried in a handbag, and fed heart-shaped dog treats. Fortunately, Choochie Pooh is up to the task of showing the other dogs that he can keep up with them. And there are benefits to being a tiny dog too — after all, those heart-shaped treats are pretty delicious!