I am fortunate to have read an advanced copy of BunnyBear, my pick for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. What a delightful story![spacer height=”10px”]
Written by: Andrea J. Loney
Illustrated by: Carmen Saldaña
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (January 31, 2017)
Suitable for ages: 5-8
Themes/Topics: bears, identity, being yourself, friendship, acceptance
Brief Synopsis: What should a bear do when he feels like a bunny? And other bears called him odd. He wiggled his nose, nibbled on strawberries, and bounced through the forest of course!
Author Andrea Loney tells the story about a bear who did what felt natural because “It made him feel free and light and happy.” Even though others did not always understand, Bunnybear finds out he is not the only animal whose identity is at odds with social norms. Readers will celebrate the importance of staying true to who you are on the inside, despite what you look like on the outside.
“There was once a bear who was more than a bear.
Sure, he was shaggy and stompy like most bears. And he could be loud-very loud-if he wanted to.
But when he was alone, he loved to bounce through he forest, wiggle his nose, and nibble on strawberries. It made him feel free and light and happy.”
Why I like this book: BunnyBear is a wonderful story to introduce kids to the idea that it’s more important to know who you are, be yourself and be happy rather than try to live in a way that doesn’t feel right to please others.
Being different can be difficult and lonely for kids. This story gives them hope. They learn that being true to your natural self means you don’t have to be alone. And somewhere there are friends who will accept you for who you are. The theme of this story is “Just be you.”
Resources: K-8 Classroom article, Express Yourself! Encouraging Kids to Be Themselves
Here is an article from kidshealth.org about self-esteem.
The website All Done Monkey lists these picture books about being yourself.
No Time for Flashcards picture books about being different and learning to be yourself.
Susanna Hill’s book lists on Acceptance/Tolerance and Be Yourself/Individuality.
Chapter Two “I’m Special” and Chapter Six “I Like Myself” from author Vivian Kirkfield‘s book Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking has many activities appropriate activities.