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Picture Books about Being Yourself for Elementary Teachers – 2024

This list of picture books about being yourself is a great instructional tool for elementary teachers. The books make great read alouds for any time of the school year. Take a peek below to learn more about these picture books about being yourself for kids!

5 Picture Books about Being Yourself

Below is a list of some of our favorite picture books about being yourself. Check them out below!

1. A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni

A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni is about how all animals have their own color, except chameleons. The chameleon in this book is tired of always changing colors, and wants to find a color of his own. He attempts to remain on a leaf forever so he does not change color, but the leaf changes color itself and eventually falls off the branch. 

After a long cold winter, the chameleon ventures out into the grass when spring comes. He meets an older chameleon and asks if they will ever have a color of their own. The older chameleon suggests that the two stay together forever. Although they will change color, they will always be the same color as each other. This causes the chameleons to live a much happier life.

Check out these A Color of His Own Activities and Lessons to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

A Color of His Own book cover
A Color of His Own activity

2. Elmer by David Mckee

The story Elmer by David Mckee is about a colorful elephant. Elmer is not elephant colored, he is patchwork. He always makes the other elephants laugh and smile, but he thinks it is because they are laughing at him.

One day, Elmer slips off into the jungle and finds a berry bush. Elmer shakes the berries to the ground and uses the juice to turn himself elephant colored. When he returns to the herd, the other elephants are not smiling or laughing.

Elmer shouts out BOO to surprise them. The elephants start to smile and laugh uncontrollably, and a rain cloud opens up and washes away the berry juice. The other elephants say that they knew it must have been him that shouted BOO because he is so funny. The other elephants declare that every year there will be an Elmer’s Day where the other elephants will decorate themselves and parade and Elmer will wear berry juice.

Check out these Elmer Activities and Lessons to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

Elmer book cover
Elmer activities

3. I Don’t Want to be a Frog by Dev Petty and Mike Boldt

Have you ever thought about wanting to be someone else? In the story I Don’t Want to be a Frog by Dev Petty and Mike Boldt, a child frog tells his dad that he does not want to be a wet, slimy, bug-eating frog. He would rather be a cat, pig, or an owl. On his journey with his dad, he comes upon a fierce hunting wolf. The wolf shares that he does not eat wet, slimy, bug-eating animals, so him being a frog saved him! 

Told in dialogue format, this simplistic and hilarious book, this text is an excellent way to lead discussions in identity and self-esteem. We join the frog on his journey to accepting that we cannot fight nature- we are what we are.

Check out these I Don’t Want to be a Frog Activities and Lessons to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

I Don't Want to be a Frog book cover
I Don't Want to be a Frog book and activity

4. Everyone Loves Cupcake by Kelly Dipucchio

Everyone Loves Cupcake by Kelly Dipucchio is about how Cupcake was perfect in every way. She was brilliant, impeccable, and even wore a tiara! She worked hard to impress everyone around her. 

Eventually, people thought she was too perfect. They did not want to be friends with her. She sought out Cookie, who gave her advice: just be yourself. Cupcake embraced this advice and shouted that she hates birthday parties and that her frosting isn’t even her real color!

This revelation made her friends have connections with her. They all shared their insecurities and secrets to strengthen their friendships.

Check out these Everyone Loves Cupcake Activities and Lessons to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

Everyone Loves Cupcake book cover
Everyone Loves Cupcake book and activity

5. Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival

Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival is about a young boy named Norman. Norman had always felt perfectly normal, until one day when he grows his wings. Norman loves his wings and he loves flying! However, when it is time to go dinner, he decides that he needs to hide his wings from everyone so that they think he is still normal. 

Hiding his wings makes Norman feel miserable. He misses out on all of his favorite activities, and is hot and uncomfortable. Finally, he decides to take off his coat and reveal his wings. This inspires other children to take off their coats and reveal that they have wings too! Norman is never happier than when he is flying around with the other children. He learns the lesson that being normal isn’t important, he just needs to be perfectly Norman.

Check out these Perfectly Norman Activities and Lessons to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

Perfectly Norman book cover
Perfectly Norman activity

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

In closing, we hope you found this list of picture books about being yourself helpful! They are part of our Starts With a Story collection. If you want to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students, then grab this reading freebie. It includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

printable monthly reading logs

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