The Hueys in The New Sweater Oliver Jeffers
"The thing about the Hueys...was that they were all the same." All the same until one of them--Rupert--knitted himself a sweater; now he was different. Before long, everyone would be different--in the exact same way! It's fun to see the lightbulbs go on over many kids' heads as I share this one. At a recent storytime, I paired this book with Extra Yarn, due to the link of new sweaters popping up everywhere.
The Sneetches and Other Stories
Dr. Seuss The Sneetches have a VERY class-conscious society. The Star-Bellied Sneetches, of course, think they are the best--leaving the non-starred as easy victims to a new huckster in town. Before long, though, everyone's out a lot of money! They eventually do learn a lesson, though, and there's plenty of Seuss rhyme along the way!
The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater
The Araboolies of Liberty Street by Sam Swope & Barry Root
I love to read these two together whenever I can! Both begin in neighborhoods where the houses all look all the same--and when the bland uniformity is threatened, H.O.A. behavior is launched! I love the dreaminess of Pinkwater's version, and the many opportunities to yell out "I'll call in the army" from the Swope & Root work!
It's Okay to Be Different
In a world where people are singled out for ridicule for their differences, we need more creators like Todd Parr. The wide range of cheerful, colorful differences illustrated here can launch a parent/teacher & child off in all of the other, wonderful ways people can be different.
I'm not sure about the whole "eating macaroni & cheese in the bathtub," though.
A Penguin's Story
Edna the penguins world is nothing but black, white, & blue--and she knows there must be something different out there. Edna eventually finds a little color, and it brings excitement to the entire community! One reaches the end of the book sensing that the penguins' adventure is only just starting.
It's a widely-held belief that children are afraid to taste new foods. Well, their parents are horribly fearful, too! When Yoko is teased for bringing sushi to school, grown-ups in the storytime audience will often smile & say, "sushi is so good! I love sushi!" Okay, smugsters--but would you try natto? Two things: 1) don't be afraid to try new things, and never say "yuck" about something you've never even tried; 2) if you don't like it, try it again sometime! But in the meantime, be respectful toward people who do like it. For instance, I hate macaroni & cheese mixes, but I try not to make a face around people who seem to love the stuff. I do need to work harder at my poker face, but I do try. Usually.
Check these books out! Have fun with them, & let me know what you think. Do you have any favorite books about individuality, or trying new things--or whatever? Please let me know!
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