Family Storytime: Books about Self-Esteem and Being a Friend

Today’s storytime showcased some great books, all published in the last five years, about liking yourself and being a friend.  We started with one of my favorite songs, “If I Was a Bird” from the CD Wiggleworms Love You.  Then we read Zorro Gets an Outfit by Carter Goodrich.  Zorro the pug is given a cape and mask which he hates, especially when the other neighborhood pets laugh at him.  But when he meets another dog at the park with an outfit, he learns to be proud of his outfit, and it certainly helps having a friend like Mister Bud who is proud of him, too.

We sang a song about a little duck with lots of self-esteem, who looks different from the others but leads all the others with a “quack quack quack!”

six little ducks

Six little ducks that I once knew

Fat ones, skinny ones, fair ones too

But the one little duck with the feather on his back

He led the others with a “quack quack quack!”

Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack

He led the others with a “quack quack quack!”

Down by the river they would go

Wibble-wobble wibble-wobble to and fro

But the one little duck with the feather on his back

He led the others with a “quack quack quack!”

Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack

He led the others with a “quack quack quack!”

Back from the river they would come

Wibble-wobble wibble-wobble ho, hum hum

But the one little duck with the feather on his back

He led the others with a “quack quack quack!”

Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack

He led the others with a “quack quack quack!”

We read a book by one of my all-time favorite author-illustrator teams, Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld: Exclamation Mark!  Exclamation Mark isn’t like everyone else, but once he finds his voice, he realizes everyone thought he was pretty special all along.  It’s a great readaloud!

We did a felt board rhyme about a little monster who loves polka dots and the children helped to decorate him:

yellow monster 1

I’m a little monster, yellow and bright

But I won’t give anyone a fright

I love polka dots–they’re so much fun!

I’d love to have a [color] one

yellow monster

We read a beautiful book called Hello, My Name is Ruby by Phillip C. Stead.  Ruby has the courage to keep meeting new birds and introducing herself, even though some birds may elect not to be her friend.  In the end, she has LOTS of friends because she took the trouble to make friends and most birds appreciate that!  It’s a book with a great lesson for preschoolers learning to make friends.

We finished up with a movie of a much older book, Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.  The video is narrated by Meryl Streep.  In the story, Chrysanthemum’s love for her absolutely perfect name is questioned when the other kids make fun of her, but validated when a new teacher comes into their lives and shows her how beautiful a name it is.

You can also find the book here–I find it a bit long for a young crowd but great for one-on-one reading:

Love yourself, believe in yourself, and give that same kindness to other kids, and you will be a good friend!

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian currently working at the Lamanda Park Branch Library while Central Library is closed for seismic repairs. I purchase juvenile fiction for grades 2-8, and some foreign languages. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including 3 regular book clubs (Windows and Mirrors, Read Around the World, and Lucha Libros), as well as writing workshops and STEAM/science programs. I also Infant/Toddler Storytimes and Preschool Storytimes, and outreach to local area preschools. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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