Review: It’s okay to be different

“It’s okay to be a different color.”

“It’s okay to dance by yourself.”

“It’s okay to wear glasses.”

“It’s okay to have a pet worm.”

“It’s okay to be different!”

So says author/illustrator Todd Parr’s whimsical book “It’s Okay to be Different” (Little Brown) that celebrates diversity in all its forms. Perfect for children in pre-school to grade 2, this book boasts Parr’s signature bright, childlike drawings and an optimistic, upbeat attitude. I especially appreciate the way the book mixes the superficial and mundane (“It’s okay to dance by yourself.”) with weightier issues (“It’s okay to have different moms.”). Says Publisher’s Weekly, “[Parr] wisely doesn’t zero in on specifics, which would force him to establish what’s ‘normal.’ Instead, he focuses on acceptance and individuality and encourages readers to do the same.”

Use this book as a tool to begin discussions about diversity with young children.

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek, Change.org, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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