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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Clean copy with no missing or damaged pages. Slight shelf wear. , Former library book with usual stamps and markings., Former library book with usual stamps and markings.
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It's Okay To Be Different Hardcover – September 1, 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 154 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For anyone who ever doubted it, Todd Parr is here to tell us all that it's okay to be different. With his signature artistic style, featuring brightly colored, childlike figures outlined in heavy black, Parr shows readers over and over that just about anything goes. From the sensitive ("It's okay to be adopted"--the accompanying illustration shows a kangaroo with a puppy in her pouch) to the downright silly ("It's okay to eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub"), kids of every shape, size, color, family makeup, and background will feel included in this gentle, witty book. In this simple, playful celebration of diversity, Parr doesn't need to hammer readers over the head with his message.

Parr is well known for his funky feel-good titles, including Things That Make You Feel Good/Things That Make You Feel Bad, Underwear Do's and Don'ts, and This Is My Hair. (Ages 3 to 6) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

arr (The Okay Book) combines rainbow colors, simple drawings and reassuring statements in this optimistic book. His repetitive captions offer variations on the title and appear in a typeface that looks handcrafted and personalized. A fuschia elephant stands against a zingy blue background ("It's okay to have a different nose") and a lone green turtle crosses a finish line ("It's okay to come in last"). A girl blushes at the toilet paper stuck to her shoe ("It's okay to be embarrassed") and a lion says "Grr," "ROAR" and "purrr" ("It's okay to talk about your feelings"). Parr cautiously calls attention to superficial distinctions. By picturing a smiling girl with a guide dog ("It's okay to need some help"), he comments on disability and he accounts for race by posing a multicolored zebra with a black-and-white one. An illustration of two women ("It's okay to have different Moms") and two men ("It's okay to have different Dads") handles diverse families sensitively this could cover either same-sex families or stepfamilies and also on the opposite page, a kangaroo with a dog in its pouch ("It's okay to be adopted"). He 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. All ages.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Lexile Measure: 260 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316666033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316666039
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified 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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified 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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified 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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Format: Hardcover Verified 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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By Karen P. 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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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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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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