Top 15 Books for a Welcoming School

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Amazing Grace. Mary Hoffman. (Pre-K – 1)  Although classmates say that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she’s black and a girl, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to.

And Tango Makes Three. Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell. (Pre-K – 2)  Penguins Roy and Silo at New York’s Central Park Zoo, keep putting a rock in their nest and try to hatch it. The zookeeper gives them a real egg that needs care. The penguins take turns sitting on ituntil it hatches, and Tango is born.

Big Bob, Little Bob. James Howe. (Pre-K – 2)  Despite the fact that they share a name, they are different. Big Bob likes trucks, throwing balls and being loud. Little Bob likes dolls, jingling bracelets and being quiet. Yet, they become friends. When a neighbor teases Little Bob about dolls, Big Bob steps in with “Boys can do whatever they want.” 

The Family Book. Todd Parr. (Pre-K – K)  All kinds of families are celebrated in a funny, silly and reassuring way. Includes adoptive families, stepfamilies, single-parent families, two-mom and two-dad families and families with a mom and a dad.

The Great Big Book of Families. Mary Hoffman. (Pre-K – 2)  Features all kinds of families and their lives together. Each spread showcases one aspect of home life - from houses and holidays, to schools and pets, to feelings and family trees. 

I am Jazz. Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. (K – 5)  From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. Based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings.

Looking Like Me. Walter Dean Myers. (K – 3)  An African American boy celebrates all of who is, including a dancer, an artist and a writer.  Colorful collage illustrations and catchy rhymes. 

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match / Marisol McDonald no combina. Monica Brown. (K – 2)  Marisol McDonald, a biracial, nonconformist, soccer-playing pirate-princess with brown skin and red hair, celebrates her uniqueness. Bilingual. 

The Name Jar. Yangsook Choi. (K – 2)  The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. 

One. Kathryn Otoshi. (Pre-K – 1)  Red picks on Blue. The other colors don’t know what to do until One shows them how to stand up, stand together, and count. Also see, Zero. 

Red: A Crayon's Story. Michael Hall. (Pre-K – 1)  A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis. Almost everyone tries to “help” him be red until a friend offers a new perspective. He’s blue! About finding the courage to be true to your inner self. This can be read on multiple levels. 

The Sissy Duckling. Harvey Fierstein. (K – 2)  While other boy ducklings like to build forts, Elmer loves to bake cakes. While they play baseball, he wants to put on the halftime show. Elmer is a great big sissy. When his father is wounded by a hunter’s shot, Elmer proves that the biggest sissy can also be the greatest hero.

Stella Brings the Family. Miriam B. Schiffer. (Pre-K – 1)  Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.

Whoever You Are / Quienquiera que seas. Mem Fox. (Pre-K – 1)  A celebration of the world’s diverse cultures, both our similarities and differences. “Whoever you are, wherever you are, there are little ones just like you all over the world.

Wings. Christopher Myers. (K – 2)  Take flight with Ikarus Jackson, the boy with wings who remains true to his dreams despite taunts. One girl realizes he must be lonely and resolves to stop the hurtful words.