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BE WHO YOU ARE: 8 Picture Books

By 49thShelf
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This is a list by Sue Macartney, who is the author-illustrator of Benjamin’s Blue Feet a story about a little Blue-footed booby coming of age in the Galapagos Islands. Benjamin is already the island’s best treasure spotter. One day he discovers a mirror and is thrilled with his new find until it leads to niggling self-doubt. Through a series of comic attempts to alter his appearance, Benjamin learns some very valuable lessons about who he is and why he is perfect just the way he is.
I Just Want to Be Super!
Why it's on the list ...
Nino is a young kid with LOTS energy. One morning he finds a mask that allows him to do all sorts of incredible things and all he wants is to show everyone just how super he can be. I Just Want To Be Super is a delightful celebration of Nino’s natural exuberance and imagination. At the same time, throughout the story Nino’s parents gently teach him that one’s actions can affect others; and that being empathetic and caring for others are other ways of being super. In a satisfying ending this lesson resonates for Nino too.
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A World of Mindfulness
Why it's on the list ...
The benefits of practicing mindfulness, particularly for children, are widely recognized. With meditative text accompanying original artwork by fourteen artists, A World of Mindfulness is a rich collection of quiet moments for children to revisit. The text and imagery focuses on a child’s sensory experiences—how they feel when they run… the unique little sounds things make… the memories triggered when tasting a favourite food—and explores a wide range of feelings and emotions.
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My Hair is Beautiful
Why it's on the list ...
“Pony puffed” and “natural knotty”… from afros to cornrows and everything in between, My Hair is Beautiful is a joyful celebration of natural hair. Research has shown that babies like to look at themselves. And there are few diverse boardbooks to fill that niche. By combining rhythmic text with photographs of babies and preschoolers of varied skin tones and hair types, My Hair is Beautiful, provides a mirror that reflects the diversity that children see. In a lovely bonus, the book also has a real mirror at the back inside cover for young viewers to see how beautiful their hair is.
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Little Juniper Makes It BIG
Why it's on the list ...
Little Juniper feels like the world was built for adults. She is tired of struggling to reach for the cookie jar and having to use a step stool for the toilet. In this very funny and sweet story, Juniper goes to inventive lengths to help navigate her oversized world. But when she makes a new friend at school who is even smaller than she is, her sense of life’s unfairness takes on a healthy, fresh new perspective.
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Lili Macaroni
Why it's on the list ...
Lili has red hair, blueberry eyes and an infectious laugh. She loves drawing butterflies, counting stars and just being happy which she is until she starts kindergarten. The other kids compare her hair to a pumpkin and tease her about her eyes and her laugh. Lili’s considers completely changing herself but in this thoughtful tale of self-awareness, Lili comes up with a clever way to help herself and to encourage her classmates to think differently.
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Where Oliver Fits
Why it's on the list ...
Oliver is a little puzzle piece in search of his place in the puzzle world. He would love to be part of an exciting puzzle like a unicorn’s mane. But he is never quite the right shape or colour. Through drastic adjustments to himself he eventually succeeds in fitting in. But things still don’t feel right. In a happy twist he meets other puzzle pieces that have also bent themselves out of shape to fit in. In this clever tale of self-awareness, Oliver ultimately realizes that if you just are yourself, your fit will find you.
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My Heart Fills With Happiness

My Heart Fills With Happiness

edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover
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Why it's on the list ...
“I listen to stories… I walk barefoot on the grass… I feel the sun dancing on my cheeks…“ In My Heart Fills With Happiness lyrical text is paired with illustrations that capture quiet, thoughtful moments of a child’s life. Written by Monique Gray to support the health and wellness of Indigenous children and families, this boardbook is a timeless and beautiful invitation to everyone - young and old - to reflect on their lives and to think about what happiness means to them.
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