Thematic Reading List: I See Myself

myselfcollage copy

It is important for children from all backgrounds to read books with characters who resemble them. This connects readers to the characters and helps them to see that, even if it sometimes feels like it, they are not alone. This book list includes a variety of fiction titles for readers ages 4-7. Some books are best to be heard aloud and others are accessible to beginning readers to read by themselves. These titles are selected to represent a wide range of readers to help everyone find a character with whom they feel at home.
Contributed by: Mary Lanni




9781419725296 Alfie: (the turtle that disappeared)
By: Thyra Heder

Told from the perspective of both the girl, Nia, and her pet turtle, Alfie, and describes what happens when he disappears on the eve of her seventh birthday to find her a special present.
1620143410 Block Party
By: Gwendolyn Hooks
Illustrated by: Shirley Ng-Benitez

The neighborhood is having a block party, and everyone is expected to bring food to share. Padma’s mother decides to bring a pot of homemade soup, and Padma worries that her friends will not like it.
0763670022 Happy in Our Skin
By: Fran Manushkin
Illustrated by: Lauren Tobia

Bouquets of babies sweet to hold: cocoa-brown, cinnamon, and honey gold. Ginger-colored babies, peaches and cream, too– splendid skin for me, splendid skin for you! A delightfully rhythmical read-aloud text is paired with bright, bustling art from the award-winning Lauren Tobia, illustrator of Anna Hibiscus, in this joyful exploration of the new skin of babyhood. A wonderful gift book for new mums and toddlers; all children can see themselves, and open their eyes to the world around them, in this sweet, scrumptious celebration of skin in all its many, many, wonderful forms.
9780062432407_p0_v1_s600x595 I Want to be a Doctor
By: Laura Driscoll
Illustrated by: Catalina Echeverri

Explains what a doctor is and what their responsibilities are, including helping people who are sick or hurt.
9781580896122 I’m New Here
By: Anne Sibley O’Brien

Three children from other countries (Somalia, Guatemala, and Korea) struggle to adjust to their new home and school in the United States.
9781250302953 It Feels Good to be Yourself
By: Theresa Thorn
Illustrated by: Noah Grigni

Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.
9781515822776_p0_v1_s550x406 Katie Woo, We Love You!
By: Fran Manushkin

Katie shows what a good friend she can be–whether it is starting a club, hosting a sleepover, or building a volcano for school. Includes extra chapters with cooking and handicraft activities.
9781561458783 King and Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code
By: Dori Hillestad Butler
Illustrated by: Nancy Meyers

When a mysterious letter written in code arrives at King’s house for his human, Kayla, he follows the trail of the person who left it.
9781620142493 Lily’s New Home
By: Paula Yoo
Illustrated by: Shirley Ng-Benitez

Lily and her parents move to a new home in New York City. Everything is so new and different, which makes Lily even more homesick.
9780316184021 Ling and Ting: Twice as Silly
By: Grace Lin

Identical twins Ling and Ting like to be silly, tell jokes, and laugh together.
9780545666756 The Missing Fox
By: Katherine Cox
Illustrated by: Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Amateur private investigator Katie Fry looks for clues to find her brother’s favorite stuffed animal.
9781250047199 Mixed Me!
By: Taye Diggs
Illustrated by: Shane Evans

Mom and Dad say I’m a blend of dark and light: “We mixed you perfectly and got you just right.” Mike has awesome hair. He has LOTS of energy! His parents love him. And Mike is a PERFECT blend of the two of them. Still, Mike has to answer LOTS of questions about being mixed. And he does, with LOTS of energy and joy in this charming story about a day in the life of a mixed-race child.
078680825X Skin Again
By: Bell Hooks
Illustrated by: Christopher Raschka

This book affirms identity as involving outward appearance, while emphasizing that to really know a person means to get to what is inside them.


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