What about a person forms their identity?
- Religious affiliation
- Cultural background
- You name it!
Everyone is different! Each one of these things listed above makes us who we are. There are people who have curly hair and people who have straight hair; people who are right-handed and people who are left-handed; people who like to sew; people who enjoy watching birds; people who love art and so on!
To celebrate people and their diverse identities, I have put together a very small list of books I like to use when I talk about being true to yourself and your cultural background. It’s called “Be Yourself!” This list is limited. (A hundred different books from a hundred different cultures would still not be enough books to showcase every different thing about everyone.) The important thing is to keep looking for those books and appreciating them for what they are, just like we do with people.
Here are some of my favorites.
“Be Who You Are” by Todd Parr
This book uses colorful illustrations and examples to showcase that no matter who you are, what you do or what you look like, you should always be yourself.
“Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon” by Patty Lovell
Molly Lou Melon’s grandmother teaches her that despite her imperfections, as long as she believes in herself and what she can do, other people will believe in her and her abilities as well.
“Perfectly Norman” by Tom Percival
Norman grew up perfectly normal…until he grew wings. He doesn’t want to be different, so he tries to hide his wings. He becomes too hot and can’t play with others. He must decide to be himself or continue to suffer.
“A Normal Pig” by K-Fai Steele
Pip the pig feels very normal about everything in her life until a new pig comes to town. The new pig makes fun of her food, her art and who she is. She’s upset until her mom takes her to the city and shows her how many differences there are between pigs: language, appearance, food cultures, etc.
“The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson
This book focuses on differences between students. There is a moment where language is a barrier, different food types cause friction, and people question their own lives and experiences due to hearing stories from others. It’s a book about reflecting on life and understanding that all experiences are valid and different.