One of my favorite things about hanging out with little kids is that they are who they are. They like what they like, they wear what they think looks good, and they say what they think. Sometimes this leads to some interesting outfits and even some pretty funny comments. But I know somewhere along the line this all changes, peaking somewhere around middle school where you are sure that everyone has noticed every little thing about you and therefore question everything that you think and wear. Many years of teaching middle school has made me an expert on this phase. I am pretty sure that I only have so much power when it comes to preserving the girls current zealous self expression, but I want to do everything I can to encourage the Bee and Bean to always be themselves. To be proud to like what they like, to be happy to do what they want and to be confident in who they are. So as part of my campaign we spend a lot of time reading books about characters learning to be themselves. I thought I would share some of the ones we love and I would love to hear from others if they have a favorite being yourself book or some other advice about how I can encourage this.
A Bad Case of The Stripes by David Shannon A bad case of the stripes can only be cured by admitting a true love of lima beans.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes The story of a little girl who really loved her name until she started school.
Milli, Jack and The Dancing Cat by Stephen Michael King One of our favorites, Milli learns to share who she really is with a little help from some friends.
The Little Girl with the Big, Big Voice by Kristen Balouch I happen to know two little girls with big voices who love this book all about finding friends who like you for you.
Chamelia by Ethan Long Being yourself doesn't always mean going against the crowd.
Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margret Chodos-Irvine One of our all time favorites about a little girl who knows what she wants to wear.
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae Because everybody dances to the beat of their own drummer
A Very Big Bunny by Marisabina Russo A story of two unlikely friends who discover that it's not what you look like on the outside that is important.
Pezzettino by Leo Lionni Pezzettino is so small he is certain he must be a missing piece of something else, but discovers he is really complete all on his own.
Only One You by Linda Kranz A good story about appreciating the things that make each person unique
Zero by Kathryn Otoshi It is so easy to get caught up in wishing you were like someone else.
Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal Spoon isn't sure he is measuring up to all the other utensils, but in the end remembers what makes him special.