Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to individuality. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about individuality.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
We hope this list of kids books about individuality can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
Meet the Moffats. There is Sylvie, the oldest, the cleverest, and-most days at least-the responsible one; Joey, who though only twelve is the man of the house…sometimes; Janey, who has a terrific upside-down way of looking at the world; and Rufus, who may be the littlest but always gets in the biggest trouble.Even the most ordinary Moffat day is packed with extraordinary fun. Only a Moffat could get locked in a bread box all afternoon, or dance with a dog in front of the whole town, or hitch a ride on a boxcar during kindergarten recess. And only a Moffat could turn mistakes and mischief into hilarious one-of-a-kind adventure.
Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the books rapidly over several months at the request of her publisher. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Little Women was an immediate commercial and critical success, and readers demanded to know more about the characters. Alcott quickly completed a second volume (entitled Good Wives in the United Kingdom, although this name derived from the publisher and not from Alcott). It was also successful. The two volumes were issued in 1880 in a single work entitled Little Women. Alcott also wrote two sequels to her popular work, both of which also featured the March sisters: Little Men (1871) and Jo’s Boys (1886). Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from the current writings for children, especially girls. The novel addressed three major themes: “domesticity, work, and true love, all of them interdependent and each necessary to the achievement of its heroine’s individual identity.”
Lemmings look alike, sound alike, and act alike. So if one jumps off a cliff, the others follow . . . except Larry. Larry s “very” independent-minded. But can he teach his fellow lemmings to think for themselves? John Briggs has created a wonderfully funny, quirky tale about doing your own thing, while Nicola Slater s illustrations capture all the humor and pathos in Larry s situation.”
Tell your own story with a little help from Dr. Seuss in this DIY dream activity book that’s all about YOU!
How tall are YOU? How many teeth do YOU have? Where do YOU live? What do YOU like to eat?
Kids will answer these questions and more, celebrating their unique selves while creating their very own biographies in this classic activity book from Dr. Seuss, illustrated by Roy Mckie. With fill-in-the-blanks, lists, check boxes, and drawing prompts, this book allows readers to write and draw right on the fun-filled pages! From the number of freckles you have, to the kind of house you live in, to the silly animal sounds you can make, Dr. Seuss guides kids through an interactive reading experience with a creative spark. The perfect gift for special birthdays or for year-round fun, this book will hold special memories long after it’s filled in.
“Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss.” –President Barack Obama
When Macaroni sings a song, Cheese will never sing along. Mac likes to jump and play and sing, But Cheese does not like anything. Macaroni and Cheese are best friends, yet they couldn’t be more different! Mac likes to pounce and bounce and jump, but Cheese just sits there like a lump. But when Mac runs into a problem with a gust of wind, Cheese stops being a grumpy grump long enough to help save his friend’s favorite hat. Written in the style of P. D. Eastman’s classic “Big Dog . . . Little Dog,” this modern-day alley-cat odd couple will delight beginning readers.
The Wide-Awake Princess - In this new stand-alone fairy tale, Princess Annie is the younger sister to Gwen, the princess destined to be Sleeping Beauty. When Gwennie pricks her finger and the whole castle falls asleep, only Annie is awake, and only Annie-blessed (or cursed?) with being impervious to magic-can venture out beyond the rose-covered hedge for help. She must find Gwen’s true love to kiss her awake. But who is her true love? The irritating Digby? The happy-go-lucky Prince Andreas, who is holding a contest to find his bride? The conniving Clarence, whose sinister motives couldn’t possibly spell true love? Joined by one of her father’s guards, Liam, who happened to be out of the castle when the sleeping spell struck, Annie travels through a fairy tale land populated with characters both familiar and new as she tries to fix her sister and her family . . . and perhaps even find a true love of her own.
Ten Apples Up on Top! - Three friends balance counting and fun in this silly Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss and illustrated by Roy McKie. When a lion, a dog, and a tiger meet up, they soon discover that they can each do different things while balancing apples on their heads. Whether drinking milk, jumping rope, or roller-skating, they can do a lot with ten apples up on top! But watch out, she has a mop! She’ll knock those apples from up on top. Seuss’s apple-balancing characters will have youngsters reading, counting, and giggling! Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.
Little Fires Everywhere - The #1 New York Times bestseller! “Witty, wise, and tender. It’s a marvel.” –Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train and A Slow Fire Burning “To say I love this book is an understatement. It’s a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears.” –Reese Witherspoon From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Our Missing Hearts comes a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned–from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren–an enigmatic artist and single mother–who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs. Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood–and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.Named a Best Book of the Year by: People, The Washington Post, Bustle, Esquire, Southern Living, The Daily Beast, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Amazon, Barnes &amp; Noble, iBooks, Audible, Goodreads, Library Reads, Book of the Month, Paste, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many more… Perfect for book clubs! Visit celesteng.com for discussion guides and more.
Hermann Hesse’s moving and inspirational chronicle of spiritual enlightenment, with an introduction by Paulo Coehlo Siddhartha is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. Set in India, Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin’s search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, from the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation. If you enjoyed Siddhartha, you might like Hesse’s Steppenwolf, also available in Penguin Classics.
Laugh-out-loud picture book about embracing your own unique gifts.
Eddie is a bird, but he can’t fly! His friend Ernest, a bear, decides he’s going to help Eddie learn to fly–with hilarious and unanticipated results. Along the way, both Ernest and Eddie learn some valuable lessons. Is Eddie even meant to fly? Or is there something else he’s even better at?
Quirky and fun, Teaching Eddie to Fly will have kids laughing while challenging them to think about what they’re good at, and what makes them unique.
He’s ready to make a splash!
I’m ready to pull off the perfect cannonball, but everyone has advice.
“You need more weight”
All it really takes is listening to your own voice and finding the courage to make the perfect cannonball.
Fred and Ted–beloved canine stars of P. D. Eastman’s Big Dog . . . Little Dog–are back in an all-new Beginner Book written and illustrated by P. D.’s son, Peter Eastman! In this story Fred and Ted go camping, and as usual, their uniquely different approaches to doing things (such as packing equipment, setting up camp, and fishing techniques) have humorous–and sometimes surprising–results. A charming introduction to opposites that beginner readers will find ruff to put down! Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.
Meet Big Duck, Little Duck, and Porcupine, stars of the Geisel Honor-winning early reader series perfect for fans of Elephant &amp;amp; Piggie and Ballet Cat.Big Duck likes to boss around her younger brother, Little Duck, and she fancies herself the leader of their trio–when joined by their gentle friend Porcupine. Little Duck doesn’t speak yet, but through his expressions and his actions, he shows that he has a better grasp on any situation than his older sister. Told entirely through dialogue and visual storytelling with subtle humor throughout, Little Duck ends up getting the trio out of whatever jam they are in.Moving into an exciting new paper over board reader format, Salina Yoon’s early readers are perfect for fans of bestselling series like Elephant &amp;amp; Piggie and Ballet Cat, giving all her picture book fans a fantastic next step for reading fun.
Stargirl - This Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year tells a story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.
Prudence the Part-Time Cow - Prudence looks like a full-time cow―she wanders through pastures, she swats flies, and she lines up for supper. But Prudence is a part-time cow―she is also a scientist, an architect, and an inventor, studying and building and dreaming and creating. To the other cows in the herd, Prudence is a bit too part-time. She’s just too different to be part of the herd. At first Prudence tries to fit in, suppressing all her scientific smarts and imaginative inventing. But in a moment of inspiration―Cow Power!―Prudence realizes how to show the others that she can be a part-time cow and a full-time member of the herd. Funny and sweet, this is a story for anyone who’s ever felt a bit different.
The Foot Book - A Dr. Seuss classic turns 50! Since 1968, this super-simple, simply brilliant Bright and Early Book about feet has been helping beginning beginner readers step into the world of reading by themselves! From slow feet to quick feet to trick feet to sick feet, The Foot Book not only features a fleet of funny feet, but teaches children about opposites. Perfect for nurturing a love of reading, feet (!), AND Dr. Seuss—this special edition comes with a peel-off 50th Anniversary sticker on the front cover. Combining brief and funny stories, easy words, catchy rhythm, and lively illustrations, Bright and Early Books are an ideal way to introduce the joys of reading to children.
This Story Is for You - A simple “It’s nice to know you” holds so much power in this tender picturebook by acclaimed author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli. Finding value in others as a matter of course, the narrator accepts and appreciates difference as the foundation of a life-long friendship. This Story Is for You celebrates moments of kindness throughout, from the small to the grand in a heartwarming tale of human connection. The warm, comforting text shares the tone of a Ruth Krauss classic and is balanced by Greg’s energetic color palette and signature visual humor. This book is sure to be a special read for parents, children, and their friends for years to come.
Caldecott medalist Matthew Cordell debuts his first early reader series about two best friends who are as different from each other as can be. Cornbread LOVES planning. Poppy does not. Cornbread ADORES preparing. Poppy does not. Cornbread IS ready for winter. Poppy…is not. But Cornbread and Poppy are the best of friends, so when Poppy is left without any food for the long winter, Cornbread volunteers to help her out. Their search leads them up, up, up Holler Mountain, where these mice might find a new friend…and an old one. Celebrating both partnership and the value of what makes us individuals, young readers will find this classic odd-couple irresistible as they encounter relatable issues with humor and heart. Publishing simultaneously in hardcover and paperback.
Todd Anderson and his friends at Welton Academy can hardly believe how different life is since their new English professor, the flamboyant John Keating, has challenged them to “make your lives extraordinary! “ Inspired by Keating, the boys resurrect the Dead Poets Society–a secret club where, free from the constraints and expectations of school and parents, they let their passions run wild. As Keating turns the boys on to the great words of Byron, Shelley, and Keats, they discover not only the beauty of language, but the importance of making each moment count.But the Dead Poets pledges soon realize that their newfound freedom can have tragic consequences. Can the club and the individuality it inspires survive the pressure from authorities determined to destroy their dreams?
In order to ensure her popularity, Camilla Cream always does what is expected, until the day arrives when she no longer recognizes herself.
Tina isn’t like the other cows. She believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible. But her sisters aren’t convinced—and when Tina tells them she has climbed a tree and met a dragon, they decide that her nonsense has gone too far. Off they go into the woods to find her…and soon discover a world of surprises!
After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She’s thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew’s special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she’s wasting time on art when she should be studying – but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for!
This true story shows just how important a teacher can be in a child’s life – and celebrates the power of art itself.
A Girl and Her Gator - One day, a girl discovers an alligator on her head and, although she is afraid her friends will laugh, the ‘gator soon convinces her that she can still give her brother a scare, eat an eclair, and choose anything to wear as long as he is there.
Remarkably You - 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. Great for sharing and gifting, especially to celebrate your remarkable graduate.New York Times bestselling author Pat Zietlow Miller celebrates individuality in her remarkable picture book about the beauty of being yourself.With encouraging text 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.–Kirkus Reviews
Giraffes Can't Dance - Gerald the giraffe is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, until he finds the right music. On board pages.
Spoon - Thinking that Fork, Knife, and Chopstick have it better than he, Spoon begins to feel down about his status in the utensil world, but when others take the time to show him just how important he is, Spoon quickly comes to realize that being a spoon is the best thing to be after all!
No ordinary beast, Maurice is neat, polite, photogenic, and his roar is delightful to the ear, which leads his parents to enroll him at the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts, where he realizes he has a few things he can teach his fellow beasts.
Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?
A funny, heart-warming sibling story from Claire Freedman, author of the bestselling Aliens Love Underpants series and picture books Oliver and Patch and The Great Snortle Hunt. Florence’s curly-whirly, wild and crazy hair couldn’t be more different from her brother Ben’s sleek and shiny do. She begs her mum to let a hairdresser try and tame it, but when she gets the restyle she’s after, will Florence be happy with the outcome? Claire Freedman’s rhyming text and Jane Massey’s gorgeous illustrations perfectly combine to create laugh-out-loud moments and deliver an important message about being comfortable in your own skin.
When Crispin Blaze turns 7 years old, he’s expected to breathe fire like all the other dragons, but instead of fire, he breathes a host of most unusual things. By the illustrator of Dream Big, Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi.
Tacky’s perfect friends find him annoying until his odd behavior saves the day.
Stephanie's Ponytail - Another laugh-out-loud book from the author of The Paper Bag Princess! Everyone is copying Stephanie’s ponytail! No matter which way she wears it, the list of copycats keeps growing. But when Stephanie declares her next hair style, she tries to shake all of her followers loose. A newly designed Classic Munsch picture book introduces this tale of trend-setting hairdos to a young generation of readers.
Little Juniper Makes It BIG - What Juniper lacks in size, she makes up for in heart. And her heart is dead-set on growing up and getting taller. She’s tired of having to reach for the cookie jar or use a stepping stool for the toilet. Everything in Juniper’s world seems to be made for adults. Ugh! Juniper is industrious, however, and builds several silly contraptions to help reach her goals. But it isn’t until she makes a fun new friend at school, Clove, who is even smaller than Juniper, that she is able to see her world from a new perspective — and appreciate all sizes, big or small. Aidan Cassie, the creator of Sterling, Best Dog Ever, employs her pitch-perfect humor and heartwarming illustrations here again to help little ones love themselves at any size.
Julián Is a Mermaid - 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.
Masha and Her Sisters - Meet Masha and her sisters in this charming die-cut novelty board book inspired by Russian nesting dolls. Featuring shaped pages with brightly painted edges, and culminating in a satisfying finale, these nestled dolls reinforce a sweet message: they may be different, but they’re a perfect fit!
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and award-winning artist Rafael Lopez create a kind and caring book about the differences that make each of us unique.
Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful.
In Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges–and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we’re not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.
Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences.
Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?
Teased by the other monsters for being nice instead of mean, Onster prefers playing with children and helping them with their chores to frightening them.
Today is Busy Bus’s very first field trip! He takes the children to a fire house, where they meet Engine Four, a big, shiny, red firetruck. Engine Four has a hose to put out fires, a ladder to reach tall buildings, and a loud and impressive siren. Busy Bus has none of these things. Will the children still like him? This darling picture book offers a gentle exploration of jealousy and a reminder that we each have our own unique talents that make us special.
Although they are many different colors, the crayons in a box discover that when they get together they can appreciate each other and make a complete picture.
Dino Duckling - In this fun and endearing celebration of differences, a dinosaur finds a home with a family of ducks–a fresh twist on the beloved “The Ugly Duckling” tale. Even as an egg, Dino Duckling is different from all the other baby ducks. And when he’s born, no one seems to notice that he’s actually a dinosaur! Mama Duck knows that there is plenty of room for difference in a loving family, but there’s one big problem: How will Dino Duckling fly south for the winter without any wings? Can Dino Duckling ever truly belong? Alison Murray’s heartwarming reinvention of a classic is perfect for anyone who has ever wondered how to fit in.
The Perfect Picnic - A hilarious story from the author of Those Pesky Rabbits about friendship, perfectionists, and losing your sandwiches. Squirrel and Mole are the best of friends, and they do everything together, including going on picnics. But while Mole doesn’t really mind where they have a picnic, Squirrel is very determined that this picnic will be PERFECT, and that means finding the perfect place. But does such a thing exist?
The Right One for Roderic - What happens when one little ghost wants to stand out? All ghosts wear white sheets. That’s just what ghosts do. White sheets are good for haunting people, and they make the ghosts feel like part of one big family. But one little ghost named Roderic wants to wear something different. He tries all sorts of things: a bag, a rug, a boot. Can he find the right one for him? Find out in this colorful picture book from debut author-illustrator Violeta Noy.
Hiding Heidi - A beautiful and enchanting story by exciting new talent Fiona Woodcock, about a little girl with an amazing gift for concealing herself. Meet Heidi—if you can find her, that is! Heidi is the best at hiding: in school, at the playground, or in the park. Heidi’s friends know how much she loves hiding, so they always let her play and win. But Heidi learns the importance of sharing the limelight with other people when being too good at hiding makes her miss all the other fun her friends are having—and how much more fun it can be when you appreciate what your friends are good at too! She learns Freddie is great at bouncing on hippity-hops, Katie is sensational at roller-skating, and Lizzie is incredible at climbing. Heidi then realizes that she has fun doing the activities her friends like, even if she isn’t the best.
The beloved, bestselling Nancy Tillman returns with a picture book celebrating what makes every child special in their own way. Part of growing up is discovering—and embracing—what makes us unique. From different abilities to different personalities, we are all wonderfully made with our own bells and whistles.
Cuckoo hatches. And all is well. But when his brothers and sisters sing out Too-too-weet! Too-too-weet! Cuckoo instead chirps Cuckoo! and no one can understand him. When he leaves his nest, Cuckoo still can’t find anyone who speaks his language. He tries to communicate with the other animals—coomooing and buckooing and cabooing along the way—but he doesn’t sound like anyone else out there! Just when he thinks all is lost, Cuckoo finds an unlikely friend who understands him perfectly.
While volunteering with her mother at a community center, a seven-year-old girl befriends Suhana, also seven, whose cerebral palsy makes it difficult for her to communicate or control her movements. Includes facts about cerebral palsy.
This beloved classic celebrating all kinds of families is a perfect entry into the world of Todd Parr, and is now available as a board book!Some families have two moms or two dads. Some families have one parent instead of two.Some families live in a house by themselves. Some families share a house with other families.All families can help each other be strong! The Family Book celebrates families and all the different varieties they come in. Whether they’re big or small, look alike or different, have a single parent or two, Todd Parr assures readers that every family is special in its own unique way.
Heidi Heckelbeck sees things differently in this whimsically witchy chapter book. When her friend Lucy Lancaster gets glasses, Heidi notices all the attention Lucy gets and decides that she, too, needs a new look. In order to get glasses, Heidi pretends that she has trouble seeing. All goes as planned and Heidi gets a cool pair of glasses–but when she puts them on there’s just one problem: She can’t see a thing! Heidi walks around with fuzzy vision and makes many messes until she realizes that she doesn’t need a pair of glasses to make her special. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Heidi Heckelbeck chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.
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