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117
4.8 out of 5 stars
It's Okay To Be Different
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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2004
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I am a Lutheran Church librarian in Florida who bought this book for our church library. I think the work of every child is to figure out where he/she fits in the world. Why are some people this way and others that way? Is one way right and one way wrong? As we grow older we realize that there is right and wrong and also many shades of grey. We call this ethics. That is not really what this book is about. This book is about differences that children perceive and wonder about: differences in appearance--tall, short, chubby, thin, physical challenges, racial differences, and silly little things like freckles or hair color or wearing braces or glasses. I think Parr's heart is definitely in the right place. He tries to send to our kids a message of acceptance of these sorts of superficial differences but which kids (and adults) often blow way out of proportion. He's trying to at least let all kids begin life on an even playing field. Instead of seeing such traits and characteristics as detriments this book recommends that we just consider them unique traits and no big deal. This is a good message.

Most of the reviewers who dislike this book take it as a comment on ethics when I do not think that is really what it is meant to comment on. We all know that there are things that are right (telling the truth, being good peaceful neighbors, etc.) and things that are definitely wrong (lying, taking a weapon to school, child abuse, etc.) But this book is not about that. It is on a much, much simpler level. Since most children learn bigotry and prejudice by the age of THREE (!) it is imperative that we "bigot-proof" them very early in their lives, preferably before they begin school. This is a book meant for early childhood, when children become more aware of differences and wonder about them. Just take it at that level. And if you do not like to eat macaroni in the bathtub, then for heaven's sake, discuss it with your child!!! That is what books are for--to promote dialogue and thought. If eating macaroni in the bathtub is the oddest thing your kid ever does in life, you do not have a very curious or flexible child!

As a former art teacher, I like the bold colors and drawings--very nice. I think most kids who read this book come away with a rather happy attitude about the message. Most would probably think it whimsical with a hint of truth.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2001
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This book has quickly been added to my story time collection. The illustrations are bright, colorful and charming for reading aloud or simply browsing. Children are reminded that it's okay to be different, no matter what their differences or similarities. While tolerance of others is one of the themes, self-acceptance is the most important message. This is a great book for showing that differences are perfectly fine and acceptable. The book does not reek of politically correct messages as much as it comforts us that being different is just fine. I, as an adult, liked myself a little better after I read it the first time. I think children will feel the same way.
A friend of mine took the book to read at her local children's hospital where it was a big hit with the patients who often feel very different. This is a must for any library, big or small.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Maybe some people's kids like reading old stuff like aesops fables..stuff that doesn't relate to the REAL WORLD. BUT MOST kids in TODAY'S WORLD have issues. Issues like- why do I have freckles and why do I have curly hair and why do I wear glasses and why can't I be like her... or him ...or them! That's why this book is SO WONDERFUL..it teaches a wonderful lesson - IT'S OKAY..TO BE DIFFERENT, IT'S OKAY TO BE YOU! This is certainly an enriching book for any child - it builds self esteem, self confidence, and shows kids how everyone can be different, but that's what makes us special!...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2007
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
We originally got this book from the library. My son has some speech issues, but let me tell you, this book he knows by heart. He can't read yet, as he is only four, but he knows all the words. He feels good because not all the people in the book are perfect. Everyone is special. And the bright colors make the book so fun to read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2002
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is probably the best book in the whole world. Kids especially like "it's okay to eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub." This is the best approach to diversity I've ever seen, and it's cute and funny as well as having a serious undertone. Buy it for someone unique!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book was wonderful. Very helpful to my six year old who wears a back brace for scoliosis. It was easy for her to relate to the fact that everyone is different in all sorts of different ways. Highly recommended!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
I was at Storytime today and this book leaped off the shelf and into my hands begging to be read. The first thing I thought was, this is SUCH simple, pure, rock solid truth that everyone should have a copy regardless of their age.
Whether you are 4 years + 36 or 4 years + 52 or 4 years + 2, this book has a message for you.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As an mother of transracially adopted special needs children, and a child care provider, I can NOT rave enough about this book! Every child IS different, and that's what makes this world so wonderful! Yes, "It's okay" is simple and basic, but that's what makes it so wonderful and entertaining to children. This book gets down on the floor with children and talks to them at their level! With its basic theme and big, bright pictures, Todd Parr's "It's Okay" is a fun read!

I've talked many times in my children's classrooms about disabilities and adoption. I am a strong advocate for teaching children about diversity and that it is okay when someone else isn't "exactly like them". It is heart-warming and exciting to see the fabulous change in children after a positive discussion on the differences with kids. Children DO have the ability to "get it" if you talk to them in basic and simple terms that they can understand and relate to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I borrowed this book from the library but my daughter enjoyed this book so much I came to Amazon to purchase it. Her favorite part was one I generally skip when reading. (its ok to eat macaroni in the bathtub). She insists on doing this. Overall - a great book with an essential message for todays world.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
I have to say that I like Todd Parr's books, mainly because they are colorful and have unique illustrations that are an eye catcher for many kids.

This particular book helps kids to understand differences. It talks about everyone being unique in all kinds of ways. Reading this book in a class allows students the opportunity to think about themselves and others. I would definitely recommend this book for a read aloud and allow for class discussion. Especially, if a teacher has a diverse classroom.
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