Self-Awareness and Personal Discovery book selections

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Social Emotional literature offers a foundation to promoting diversity and building self awareness. These books build social and self awareness, responsible decision making, self management, and relationship skills. SEL gives children books that they can “book bond” with and relate to. Offering children these various books at different developmental stages can help a child grow and discover themselves.

"It's ok to be different" By Todd Parr 

“It’s ok to be different” By Todd Parr. This book discusses all the ways it is ok to be different from color to size to ability. Todd Parr uses bright colors and designs to illustrate the literature he is writing. This book promotes personal growth and self discovery because it represents all the differences and adversity kids can deal with everyday. Not only physically, but emotionally. It also offers funny explanations of being different like, “it is ok to eat mac and cheese in the bathroom.” Doing this offers a fun twist when discussing real topics. Using the repetitive, “It is ok..” on each page helps young readers memorize that first sentence when beginning reading. I personally love reading this book with young readers who are beginning to recognize differences in themselves and peers.

"Can I play too?" By Mo Willems 

"Can I play too?" By Mo Willems. This is a great book to teach about accepting and adapting to friend's abilities. The elephant and pig are playing catch and the snake comes by and asks to play. The friends recognize the snake doesn't have arms, how will he pay catch? After trying, the snake keeps failing and says he is gong to leave. The pig refuses to let his friend leave and instead plays catch with the snake as the ball! This book teaches empathy and resilience to young readers. The illustrations and literature are great starter books as well for teaching phonics and reading skills.

"Ruby finds a worry" By Tom Percival 

"Ruby finds a worry" By Tom Percival tells the reader Ruby's story about how she discovered a worry. Each day her worry grew and grew. No one else could see Ruby's worry, not even her teachers. The illustrations show Ruby's worry as a yellow blob that follows her. This helps readers visualize what it feels like when you worry and let it grow. Ruby finds another kid with a worry following them. As Ruby and the boy begin to talk about their worries, the worries shrink. This book helps kids understand it is ok to feel big feelings, but to talk to others about these feelings will make you feel better. It is a book of self discovery and personal growth in so many ways. This is one of my students favorite books to read and then to create what they think their own worry looks like.

References:, 2019, Accessed 27 July 2023.

“Listen to My Trumpet! An Elephant & Piggie Book - Read Aloud Story.”, Accessed 27 July 2023.

“Read Aloud: It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr.”,

“Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival Ruby’s Worry (Read Aloud) | Storytime.”,