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Thorndyke Thoughts: Be Yourself, Part 1

Thorndyke as an Artist

 

Hey Kids, 

Sometimes it's hard to challenge expectations and pre-conceived notions to just be who you are. Read on for many stories about people who defied stereotypes and limitations to be authentic. And don't forget to check out part 2 for even more great books about being yourself.

Bear Hugs,

Thorndyke

Also available in: video

A compilation of inspirational stories, songs and poems that celebrate individuality and challenge stereotypes.

Red : a crayon's story by Michael Hall

Red's factory-applied label clearly says that he is red, but despite the best efforts of his teacher, fellow crayons and art supplies, and family members, he cannot seem to do anything right until a new friend offers a fresh perspective.

The rabbit listened by Cori Doerrfeld

When Taylor's block castle is destroyed, all the animals think they know just what to do, but only the rabbit quietly listens to how Taylor is feeling.

Made by Raffi by Craig Pomranz

As a shy boy, Raffi is a loner and teased at school until one day he discovers knitting and decides to make a scarf for his father and a cape for the prince in the school play.

Also available in: audiobook

Ferdinand likes to sit quietly and smell the flowers, but one day he gets stung by a bee and his snorting and stomping convince everyone that he is the fiercest of bulls.

When his father leaves to fight in World War I, Mikey joins the Central Park Knitting Bee to help knit clothing for soldiers overseas.

Discover the true story of NFL star Ernie Barnes a boy who followed his dreams and became one of the most influential artists of his generation with this beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book.

Tyler makes spaghetti! by Tyler Florence

Tyler learns to make spaghetti and meatballs from the chef at his favorite restaurant and then makes it for his family at home.

Derek, a little green dinosaur, is somewhat worried that he likes to stay home and knit instead of acting like his ferocious brothers, but the onset of cold weather allows his knitting to become useful.

Jacob's new dress by Sarah Hoffman

Jacob, who likes to wear dresses at home, convinces his parents to let him wear a dress to school, too.

Farmer Will Allen and the growing table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Also available in: audiobook

The story of former basketball star and current urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, whose vision of gardening from abandoned urban sites led to a grassroots feeding craze.

Ballerino Nate by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

After seeing a ballet performance, Nate decides he wants to learn ballet but he has doubts when his brother Ben tells him that only girls can be ballerinas.

Chronicles the rise of a television personality and fashion consultant Tim Gunn, known as on-air mentor to designers on the reality television program Project Runway.

A young boy faces adversity from classmates when he wears an orange dress at school.

Teddy's favorite toy by Christian Trimmer

Teddy's favorite toy has the best manners, and the sickest fighting skills, and the ability to pull off a number of fierce looks. But when his toy goes missing, it turns out there's another woman around who's pretty fierce--it's Teddy's mom, and she will stop at nothing to reunite Teddy with his favorite toy.

In a picture book portrait of the artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a boy discovers his passion for dance, overcomes a childhood disability, and becomes a modern hero.

A child wishes for a unicorn without knowing how unruly they are as pets.

The story of a four-year-old boy who happily wears dresses, a princess tiara, and the color pink while he climbs trees and plays soccer, even though there are people who laugh and do not think that boys should wear dresses.

The storybook knight by Helen Docherty

Ordered by his parents to tame a dragon, a gentle knight who prefers reading to fighting arms himself with a book.

Julián is a mermaid by Jessica Love

While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself?.

A biography of the American poet whose compassion led him to nurse soldiers during the Civil War, to give voice to the nation's grief at Lincoln's assassination, and to capture the true American spirit in verse.

When Crispin Blaze turns seven, he's expected to breathe fire like all the other dragons. But instead of fire, he breathes a host of unusual things.

When the bees fly home by Andrea Cheng

The son of a beekeeper, Jonathan is not sturdy enough to do some of the work, but with the support of his mother he finds a way to help the family and form a bond with his father. Includes bee facts.

Prince & knight by Daniel Haack

A prince and a knight in shining armor find true love after fighting a dragon together.

Max, the stubborn little wolf by Marie-Odile Judes

Papa Wolf expects his son Max to be a hunter, like other wolves, but Max has different ideas about his future.

Oliver Button is a sissy by Tomie De Paola

His classmates' taunts don't stop Oliver Button from doing what he likes best.

A child celebrates a close connection with her father, from how they play together and teach each other new things to how he protects her and always makes time for her.

What should I make? by Nandini Nayar

While his mother makes chapatis, Neeraj transforms a piece of dough into different animals.

Woolbur by Leslie Helakoski

Woolbur, a sheep with a mind of his own, never seems to follow the flock, despite his parents' reminders about how he should behave.

The artist and me by Shane Peacock

Long ago, Vincent van Gogh was an eccentric man with wild red hair who used clashing hues to paint unusual-looking people and strange starry skies. Children and adults alike called him names and laughed at him. Nobody bought his art. But he kept painting.

No ordinary beast, Maurice is neat, polite, photogenic, and his roar is delightful to the ear, which leads his parents to enroll him at the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts, where he realizes he has a few things he can teach his fellow beasts.

The boy & the bindi by Vivek Shraya

A playful story...about a young boy's fascination with the dot on his mother's forehead.

Brave by Stacy McAnulty

Every kid faces unique challenges, fears and pressures. Every kid can be brave. This book encourages kids to be brave in all the ways they can: trying new things, speaking their mind, confronting bullies, and more.

My Papa Is a Princess by Doug Cenko